INDIANAPOLIS – An Illinois man died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in a recreational vehicle parked near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, police said.
Speedway, Ind. police Lt. Trent Theobald said the 43-year-old Ruma, Ill. man was unresponsive when police and medics arrived before Sunday's Indy 500. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Three family members — two men ages 69 and 61 and a 53-year-old woman — were later hospitalized, he said. Two were in serious condition and one was stable Sunday.
Seven family members drove from Illinois to Indianapolis for the race, Theobald said. The man's wife was treated but not hospitalized.
Their identities were not released Sunday as police tried to notify family members in Illinois.
The dead man's carbon monoxide levels were high, Theobald said, and all four of the sickened family members' symptoms were indicative of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The RV was parked in a vacant lot on Georgetown Road, Theobald said. Police were inspecting the vehicle to find the source of the carbon monoxide. Theobald said Speedway had no ordinance governing RV maintenance, but police urged people who use RVs to check them for exhaust leaks or other possible dangers.
"We would hope people would take the opportunity, if they are going to bring their recrecational vehicles into the community for race time, that they do make sure they are property maintenanced," Theobald said.
Three Canadians attending the 2000 U.S. Grand Prix died in an RV of carbon monoxide poisoning near the speedway.
Police said the colorless, odorless gas came from an auxiliary generator built into the rear of the RV. The victims were using the generator to run the RV's air conditioning. Police found sod and dirt inside one of the motor home's exhaust pipes, which police said caused the gas to seep into the RV while the men slept.