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Indianapolis parents push for mandatory emissions tests after losing daughter to carbon monoxide poisoning

Savannah Strong
Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-14 23:26:29-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The parents of Savannah Bettis are continuing their push to make emissions test in Indiana mandatory.

John and Wendy Bettis lost their daughter, Savannah, in 2015. She was killed in a car accident after seeping carbon monoxide caused her boyfriend to crash.

For the last seven years, they've been hosting "Savannah Strong," an event to raise awareness and offer free carbon monoxide tests.

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On Friday, the Wayne Township Fire Department was providing those tests at the Speedway Moose Lodge.

Yolanda Simmerman works at Speedway Moose Lodge and also decided to get her car tested.

"We’ve done this function for them since 2018. My car's got the original exhaust on it and everything so I figured why not get it tested," Simmerman said.

John and Wendy have been pushing Indiana lawmakers to make emissions tests mandatory in the state.

In 2018, they passed Savannah's Law, which allows fire departments across the state to provide a free vehicle emissions test.

"It doesn’t take long. Savannah was 8 minutes. She passed away from CO poising, and that was in a moving vehicle as a passenger," John said.

John and Wendy say they'll keep pushing for the law to be changed. They also say it is their mission to raise awareness.

"[We're educating those parents that this can happen on boats, RVs, homes, automobiles. The biggest thing is, a lot of kids spend time in their automobiles daily. That’s their outlet to get away from their parents. We try to educate people to understand it’s a silent killer. You never know when it’s going to happen," John said.

On Saturday, they'll host the Savannah Strong Ride at Moose Lodge at 11 a.m. It will help raise money for the scholarship set up in Savannah's name.