Logan Newell, 17, was found slumped over the wheel of his car at the St. Albans Park and Ride Sunday night. Investigators conducted a vehicle inspection and emissions test on Newell's Volkswagen Jetta. They found two leaks in the exhaust system. One, by the air intake valve, caused exhaust to be sucked into the car when the heat was on, filling it with deadly carbon monoxide levels within 7-9 minutes.
Police say last week an officer spotted Newell at the same rest area, reportedly feeling tired and nauseous. No one suspected he was being poisoned.
"There is no fault to be laid here on Logan or anyone else. The vehicle was properly inspected. It developed some rust and some leakage in the exhaust system. Pretty common thing that happens in Vermont with the weather we experience," St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor said.
Police say Newell knew he needed a new exhaust system and ordered the part, but he died before it arrived.
Though police say evidence points to accidental CO poisoning, the case will remain open until the toxicology reports are finished.