Loved Ones Honor the Life of Young Boone Hotel Victim

Hundreds of people gather to honor the life of Jeffrey Williams

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by Christine Noel, Journalist
by Darnell Hart, Photojournalist

ROCK HILL, S.C.. -- Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at First Baptist Church in Rock Hill to celebrate and honor the life of 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams.

He died from carbon monoxide poisoning at a Best Western Hotel in Boone eight days ago. Police say a deficient and corroded pool heater just below room 225, where Williams was staying, is to blame.

It's a tragic event that has local lawmakers calling for a change. North Carolina House Rep. Becky Carney says she will back a study on whether North Carolina should require all hotels and motels to install carbon monoxide detectors. Right now, the state does not require them to do so.

"To me, the question is: Why would we not have them?" says Rep. Carney, "We require smoke detectors, so why would we not have carbon monoxide detectors?"

Rep. Carney says her concern right now is, in moving forward, the new codes may only require detectors to be placed in newly constructed hotels and motels, which she says is good thing.. but it's not enough.

"Obviously these are not new hotels and motels that these tragic instances have occured," says Carney.

Since carbon monoxide detectors are not required in hotels in North Carolina, Rep. Carney says the N.C. Building Code Council will start looking at new codes in the fall.

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