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January 27, 2016

Young mother FaceTiming in car died of CO poisoning during snowstorm

Sashalynn Rosa and her infant son Messiah died due to a tailpipe clogged with snow

Investigation Weather
012716_SashalynnRosa Contributed Art/GoFundMe

23-year-old Sashalynn Rosa died on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

A young mother in Passaic who died of carbon monoxide poisoning and also lost her infant son during last weekend's powerful snowstorm was reportedly FaceTimeing with a close friend while warming up her snow-covered car.

Sashalynn Rosa, 23, was sitting in the car with her one-year-old son Messiah and three-year-old daughter Saniyah last Saturday afternoon while her boyfriend dug out the vehicle. According to People, she was having a FaceTime conversation with her friend Ana Pelaez as carbon monoxide – a gas with no odor, color or taste – seeped into the car due to a clogged tailpipe.

Rosa sat in the car with her children for 10 to 20 minutes before her boyfriend, who was shoveling, knocked on the window of the four-door Mazda to get their attention. When none of them responded, he opened a door to wake them up but all three were unresponsive.

Pelaez told People that in the few minutes she chatted with Sashalynn, a friend who supported her during her own early days as a mother, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

"She said the kids wanted to play outside," said Pelaez, 24, of Clifton. "She said we might as well start taking snow off the car. She was fine and we hung up. And then I got the news."

Sashalynn and Messiah later died from CO poisoning, while Saniyah remains in critical condition at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

Friends and family members of the victims have created a GoFundMe page to help covering the cost of burying Sashalynn and Messiah.

At least 50 people have died as a result of the winter storm that pounded the eastern United States last weekend, including eight people in Pennsylvania and three in New Jersey.