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Couple staying on boat overnight found unconscious due to carbon monoxide poisoning

On September 21, 2020, at 2:30 p.m., State Police in Sylvan Beach responded to Canal Street in the village of Sylvan Beach for a possible carbon monoxide poisoning on a boat. 

Members from the Sylvan Beach Fire Department discovered a male and female on a boat that was docked/tied off along the Erie Canal, off Canal Street. They were located by friends who went looking for them after the female subject did not show up for work. 

  • William R. Lashomb, age 36 from Bridgeport, NY, was unconscious and initially transported to Oneida Hospital.  He has since been airlifted to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse and is listed in critical condition.   

  • Blair M. Dodge, age 34 from Central Square, NY, was pronounced deceased at the scene.  She has been transported to the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office and is scheduled for an autopsy to determine the official cause of death. 

Initial investigation indicates that the couple was staying on the boat overnight and succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.  Investigators are attempting to determine if the carbon monoxide came from the boat engine or a portable space heater, which was located on the boat.  There were no suspicious circumstances and no trauma to either of the victims.

State Police were assisted at the scene by the Sylvan Beach Fire department, Vineall Ambulance, and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is continuing.

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