The mysterious case of a woman and her young daughter found dead in their car on June 2nd was solved earlier this week when investigators and coroners declared that the two deaths were caused by hydrogen sulfide gas poisoning. Initially, the case caused a tremendous amount of confusion and concern. Laifa Lincoln, 46, and her daughter, Maksmilla Lincoln, 3, were discovered unconscious in their 2006 Porsche Cayenne SUV. The battery was still running, the radio on. According to the Florida Highway Patrol’s report, the Lincoln family was traveling to Miami along the Florida Turnpike when the car stopped. There was evidence that the SUV had earlier bumped into a guardrail, close to mile marker 224.
Florida Highway Patrol officers noticed vomit in the car as well as rashes along the bodies of the two passengers. The officers also stated that there was a chemical odor in the car, something that burned, but not something that anyone was able to identify. A team of Hazmat professionals looked over the car and tested the air, but their investigation turned up nothing conclusive. However, a receipt from a mechanic was discovered on the passenger seat of the car. This piece of information turns out to be the most indicative evidence for what exactly occurred in the Lincoln’s vehicle.
After the autopsy was performed, the coroner’s report indicated that both Laifa and Maksmilla were likely killed by hydrogen sulfide gas from the car’s battery. Hydrogen sulfide is an extremely dangerous chemical that is most often found in food processing plants, coke ovens, and energy refineries. It can also form in places where human or animal waste is deposited (people have died from hydrogen sulfide poisoning in sewer pipes and pits full of manure). The lethality of the gas is alarming, with only a few breaths of it needed to form a lethal dose. According to the Florida Highway Patrol’s recent report, the battery found in the Cayenne was not the original battery for the vehicle. Shortly before the trip, Laifa had taken her car to a mechanic who had installed this new battery. It is believed that this battery, which is not the correct battery for this type of vehicle, malfunctioned and released the deadly gas into the cabin of the car.
The investigation is still underway, but as of right now there is a wealth of evidence pointing to the defective battery as the cause of Laifa and Maksmilla’s death.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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