Last year, three people died from carbon monoxide poisoning after staying in room 225 at the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza hotel in Boone, N.C. Now, the hotel manager, Damon Mallatere, is being indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, according to this report from the News Observer.
Daryl and Shirley Jenkins of Washington and 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams of York County, S.C., died when carbon monoxide when the poisonous gas seeped up from a corroded exhaust pipe into the room.
Mallatere’s attorney provided a statement to the Observer stating that his client was disappointed that authorities were pressing charges against him. Mallatere believes that the firm that was in charge of converting the pool heater from propane to natural gas should be held accountable.
The Williams family also released a statement saying that they hope this indictment “will serve as a staunch reminder for future generations of decision-makers in similar cases that the public’s safety is of paramount concern.”
Mallatere is president of Appalachian Hospitality Management, a company that he formed in 2007 to manage properties once owned by his late partner, Boone hotelier Ashok Patel. Hotel Equities assumed management of the Best Western hotel on Jan. 1.
For more information on this story, head over to the News Observer.