One child walked away with a stagger, two fell out, and another pair had a “slightly altered mental status” after spending 90 minutes inside a video game truck rented for a birthday party in Atlanta.
Brandy Sympreux rented the truck for her 8-year-old son’s birthday party, hoping to please a crowd of rambunctious boys. But after spending an hour and a half inside the truck on Thursday, July 27, nine people became sick and were taken to area hospitals, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“For me, it’s traumatic,” Sympreux said. “It was close to loss of life potential, and it could have been worse.”
All windows and doors in the air-conditioned truck were closed, according to the police report. The interior is outfitted with flat screens for video games. A generator was running underneath with little to no exhaust.
“After inspection of the trailer, we did find a (carbon monoxide) detector not working. It was chirping as if the battery were dead,” Craig Sherrer of Coweta County Fire Rescue said.
Fire officials took an reading of the air inside the trailer and found 25 carbon monoxide parts per million, the effects of which are uncertain, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. Effects become noticeable at above 70 parts per million.
“(The carbon monoxide level) had to be pretty substantial for them to be poisoned in an hour and a half’s time,” Sherrer said.
Three of the ill children were taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. The other four were rushed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. The two adults were taken to Piedmont Hospital Newnan.
All “are doing better,” said Sympreux.
The mother rented the truck from GameTruck Georgia LLC of Kennesaw. The owner could not be reached on Thursday.
GameTruck reached out to Sympreux to assure her that it will handle all expenses incurred due to the incident.
“No one expected medical expenses from taking their child to an 8-year-old’s birthday party,” Sympreux said.
The mother cautioned parents to “ask about the safety factor” when renting a video game truck.