Carbon County deputy saves father, son from carbon monoxide poisoning

2 photos
Save Story

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

PRICE — It was something about the angle of the man's head that first caught the attention of Carbon County sheriff's deputy Shawn Addley.

"He was sleeping," Addley said Thursday. "But the way he was sleeping just seemed different or odd or suspicious to me."

So Addley circled the block twice, studying the sleeping man in the driver's seat of the idling Audi sedan each time he made the circuit.

"Still nothing had changed," the deputy said. "He hadn't moved, so I parked behind him."

What happened next has a Carbon County family praising the 10-year law enforcement veteran for his decision to listen to his instincts and then take action.

"He definitely is a hero," Cyndi Parry said. "I can't thank him enough. How can you ever thank someone enough for saving your child's life?"

Parry's 5-year-old son, Hayden, was inside the Audi on Dec. 12 with his father, Jonathan Holt, who had been waiting at the school bus stop so he could pick his son up for their weekend together.

Holt, however, wasn't awake when Hayden got off the bus and climbed into the car. After a short time inside the car, Hayden closed his eyes, too.

"I didn't even think 'carbon monoxide,'" said Addley, who tried to rouse the father and son after seeing the car and "getting a feeling that something just wasn't right."

I think I just did what any law enforcement officer would have done, or any concerned citizen. I think if anyone had walked up on the vehicle, they would have done the same thing.

–Shawn Addley, Carbon County sheriff's deputy

Addley called for an additional deputy and an ambulance. Then he pulled Hayden out of the car and noticed an immediate change.

"He opened his eyes real wide and he gave me this huge smile," Addley said. "It was like a sigh of relief."

Holt and his son were taken to the hospital for treatment and later released. Hayden went home with his mom, while Holt went to jail.

"Jonathan was acting weird and I could tell that he was on something," Addley said, noting that he questioned Holt about his suspicions before realizing that he was dealing with a case of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"I was concerned that maybe (Holt) had used (drugs) in the vehicle and that they were both possibly intoxicated," the deputy said.

Under questioning, Holt handed over a drug pipe and a substance that is believed to be heroin, Addley said. A search of the car also turned up methamphetamine and marijuana, he said.

After running some tests on the car, investigators determined that carbon monoxide from the idling engine had entered the Audi through two open windows and an open sunroof, nearly killing Hayden and his dad, Addley said.

"We recreated it," the deputy said. "(We) rolled the windows down and (opened) the sunroof up, and that's when we started reading the high levels."

While he appreciates the praise he's heard from Hayden's family and others in the community for his actions on Dec. 12, Addley doesn't consider himself a hero.

"I think I just did what any law enforcement officer would have done, or any concerned citizen," he said. "I think if anyone had walked up on the vehicle, they would have done the same thing."


Most recent Utah stories

Related topics

Geoff Liesik


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast