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UPDATE: Illegal Drugs Eyed in Fatal Gas Drinking Case

By: WSAW Staff/ Associated Press
By: WSAW Staff/ Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Investigators are trying to determine whether illegal drugs played a role in the death of a 2-year-old Dane County girl who drank gasoline.

Court documents say the girl's 4-year-old brother was found to have cocaine in his system.

According to three search warrants filed Wednesday, a doctor at UW Hospital told investigators that a presumptive blood test on the boy Sunday found a positive result for the presence of cocaine.

The warrants say the boy told a doctor at UW Hospital that he and his sister had gone out to a car, locked themselves in and drank gasoline.

The girl died early Sunday night. The sheriff's office tells the Wisconsin State Journal the boy has been put into foster care. Autopsy results on the girl are pending.

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According to WMTV-TV in Madison, a two-year-old who ingested gasoline along with her 4-year-old brother, has died. The boy’s condition is unknown but he remains at a Madison hospital.

Deputies were called to the Town of Medina, southwest of Waterloo Sunday night where the children had ingested gasoline. Authorities say the siblings climbed into a neighbor's car, which had a gas can in the back.

Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Elve states that when family members noticed the children were missing, they began frantically searching and called 911.

The 34-year-old mother and her two children reside in Portage, but were staying with a friend in Dane County at the time of the incident.

Emergency medicine specialist Dr. Tom Koepke says less than an ounce of gasoline can be fatal.

"What we see is children going into respiratory arrest," Dr. Koepke said. "It also has central nervous system effects (CNS), it also can be cardio-toxic."

There are 50,000 cases a year of petroleum products exposure, most of which occur with kids under five years old.

"It's thought to be the 10th leading cause of death from ingestion," Koepke said.

Koepke says call 911 and head to the emergency room right away if gasoline exposure occurs. He says most importantly, do not induce vomiting because that can make the situation worse.


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