On June 9, 2020, 36-year-old Chicago Police Officer Xu Meng died of carbon monoxide poisoning at his home in Albany Park.
Chicago police said Meng and his wife, Heng Yi, were discovered unresponsive inside their home at Ainslie Row Condos at around 8 p.m. that Tuesday. The two were then transported to Swedish Hospital in critical condition, where Meng later succumbed to his injuries.
Officer Meng inadvertently left his keyless ignition vehicle running in their garage when he returned home after working 12-hour shifts for 12 straight days during the protests in Chicago. Since his garage was located directly underneath his bedroom, carbon monoxide from the vehicle’s exhaust leaked into the unit causing lethal levels of carbon monoxide.
Neighbors heard carbon monoxide detectors as early as 1 p.m. Police said Meng was more than two hours late to pick up his son, so they conducted a well-being check and made a forced entry when no one answered. He and his wife were found unconscious in separate rooms.
According to ABC 7, Chicago fire officials said the carbon monoxide levels were 140 parts per million, which is considered well into a lethal range. At the time of the discovery, they believed the leak may have been accidental.
For more than two years, Officer Meng developed a exceptional reputation as a hardworking and dedicated police officer serving the people of the City of Chicago. He earned a crime reduction award and an honorable mention during his career with the Chicago Police Department’s 24th District in Rogers Park. Officer Meng was also an active member of the Asian American Law Enforcement Association Member (AALEA) Chicago Chapter & FOP Lodge 7.
McNabola & Associates, LLC represents the estate of Officer Meng, including his wife and their young son.
Officer Meng is one of many who have been killed by carbon monoxide nationwide after inadvertently leaving their keyless ignition vehicles running—while dozens more have been injured or suffered brain damage. In fact, The New York Times recently published an article exposing the extreme risks posed to owners of keyless-ignition vehicles, especially the elderly. Although some automakers have warning features installed, most do not have adequate warning. In light of the extreme risks to the public, manufacturers should install an automatic shutdown feature after a set period of time to avoid these tragedies in the future.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, stealthily depriving the brain, heart, and other vital organs of oxygen, which can result in death and irreversible brain damage.
If a loved one was a victim of a keyless ignition system causing carbon monoxide poisoning, call our Chicago legal team at (312) 888-8700 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24/7!