• Hundreds gather for funeral of 11-year-old Boone hotel victim

    By: Trish Williford


    ROCK HILL, S.C. - Hundreds gathered at the First Baptist Church of Rock Hill to say final goodbyes to an 11-year-old killed just over a week ago at a Boone hotel.

    Jeffrey Williams' death, and the death of two others at the Best Western in Boone have sparked widespread concerns about carbon monoxide in hotels.

    Now, lawmakers in North and South Carolina are pushing for stronger regulations in the wake of this tragedy.

    State Rep. Ralph Norman was among those who paid their respects to the family. He's outraged over what he called a senseless tragedy.

    "It's just sad, I mean it's just something that could be avoided," says Norman.

    Last Saturday, Williams and his mother were found unresponsive inside a room at the Best Western Hotel in Boone.

    Jeffrey was pronounced dead at the scene. His mother was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

    Authorities say they were exposed to carbon monoxide that came from a pool heater located directly below the room.

    Just two months earlier, another couple died from the same poison, after staying in the very same room.

    Lawmakers in South and North Carolina are taking steps to make sure this type of tragedy is never repeated.

    South Carolina's Legislature has already passed a bill that will require carbon monoxide detectors in new and existing homes, as well as hotels, dorms and even some apartments.

    North Carolina state Rep. Becky Carney calls it an issue of public safety. She says she'll push for a study to find out if North Carolina should require hotels to install the alarms.

    "I'm hoping we can get some study commission put together during this interim and come back next year and discuss the recommendations," says Carney.

    South Carolina's bill goes into effect July 1.

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