NewsLocal News


State lawmaker pushes for carbon monoxide legislation after death of Broken Arrow boy

Andrew Free
Posted at 4:47 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 23:44:52-05

MOUNDS, Okla. — Nine-year-old Andrew Free had a bright smile and eyes full of fun and a little mischief.

“He was the kid that was always willing to take a dare,” said his mom Cassi Free. “Never wanted to back down. He wanted to prove that he was brave.”

Free, says what was a fun day at Lake Eufaula in 2020 ended in a tragedy the family never expected.

“To me carbon monoxide poisoning was something that happened when you were running your car in a garage or if you had a gas furnace that failed,” Free said.

She says after wakeboarding and wake surfing, Andy was tired and hungry, but it wasn’t until he fell unconscious off the boat into the water that they knew something was really wrong.

“He never regained consciousness and we were left with a whole bunch of questions,” Free said.

His two older brothers were also disoriented after the day at the lake. They got them checked out and their blood tests revealed acute carbon monoxide toxicity.

“They were able to also check Andy’s blood levels and they were found to be exceptionally high,” Free said.

State Rep. Dean Davis from Broken Arrow heard Andy’s story and said he was compelled to make sure this didn’t happen again.

“Just us doing this could help save other families because I just know how hard it’s been on Cassi and her husband and that’s what this is all about is let’s help our other Oklahoma families and individuals with awareness,” Davis said.

He’s introducing House Bill 2010 or Andy’s Law, when the legislative session starts Feb. 6. It would require a carbon monoxide poisoning warning sticker on motorized boats that operate in Oklahoma waters.

Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Davis says more than 400 people die in the U.S. every year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and more than 100,000 people visit the emergency room because of it.

“It is a silent killer, and we need to recognize it and if there’s any chance that we can save other lives and Andy can help us with that then that’s what I would like us to do with this bill,” Davis said. Free said she doesn’t want any other family to have to suffer through this pain.

“I can do something for my community,” said Free. “I can do something for our state. I can at least help educate people so if nothing else they’ll remember Andy. They’ll remember his story and maybe it won’t happen to somebody else here.”

If the legislation passes, the new law will start Nov. 1. The legislation says the Department of Public Safety would create and approve the sticker and Service Oklahoma would print and distribute it.

Trending Stories:

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --