Parents start foundation after son, 11, dies of CO poisoning - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Parents start foundation after son, 11, dies of CO poisoning

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

The parents of an eleven-year-old boy who died of carbon monoxide poising in 2013 say they hope a foundation started in their son's name can help save another family from experiencing what they're going through.

Three guests at a Best Western Motel in Boone died of carbon monoxide poisoning last year when gas seeped into their room from a swimming pool water heater on the floor below.

One of the three victims was 11-year-old Jeffery Williams from Rock Hill. You can still see and feel their emotion when they talk about their son.

"It's day by day, sometimes hour by hour," mother Jeannie Williams says.

Jeannie and Jeffery were staying at the hotel for the night before picking up her daughter from camp.

She says she remembers feeling sick in the room.

As her symptoms continued to get worse, she struggled to call for help, but says Jeffery never responded to her calls.

She says she misses the intimate moments with her son the most. "Just everything, being able to hold him and touch him. His smile. His sense of humor. He was a wonderful boy," she said.

Though the Williams say they have no ill-will towards hotel management, they are hoping the legal system will provide some form of justice in their child's death.

"I want there to be accountability and I want Justice. That's a part of the system is to have that justice. People did some things that they shouldn't have done and they need to be held accountable for," Jeannie said.

Wednesday, a judge ordered the company that installed the used water heater to never again work as a plumbing, heating or fire sprinkler contractor.

The owner of the hotel was indicted on three counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of assault in January 2014.

In memory of their late son, Jeannie and husband Jeff started the Jeffery Lee Williams Foundation.

They say the purpose of the foundation has four pillars: To educate the public about carbon monoxide, provide carbon monoxide detectors to families who can't afford them, assist rural fire departments to have carbon monoxide detectors installed on their trucks and to start an online list of hotels that have carbon monoxide detectors in each room.

"Nothing will ever bring us any kind of return on this incident, it just won't do," Jeff said. "But we can honor Jeffery and hopefully help other people from having to deal with something along carbon monoxide lines."

When asked what she would like people to take away from her story, Jeannie said just to love your children and never take them for granted, and to make sure their safety is your number one priority.

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