‘Savannah’s Law’ passes Indiana Senate

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “Savannah’s Law” is one step closer to becoming reality.

Tuesday afternoon, the proposal, which would allow fire stations across the state to provide a free vehicle carbon monoxide emissions test if requested passed the state Senate.

A June 2015 night forever changed the lives of John and Wendy Bettis.

“It was the worst nightmare,” Wendy Bettis said

Their 18-year-old daughter, Savannah Bettis, died after the car she and her boyfriend were in crashed in Avon. Investigators said both had high levels of carbon monoxide in their systems. Investigators discovered the deadly gas got into the car’s cabin from a leaking exhaust system. Savannah’s boyfriend survived, but investigators said almost half the blood in Savannah’s body was saturated with carbon monoxide.

“They call it a silent killer,” John Bettis said.  “Savannah would not want us sitting there, not doing anything to help somebody else.”

Which is why, for the last two and a half years, John and Wendy have traveled Indiana to champion a bill bearing their daughter’s name.

“The hope for the bill is to save another life,” John Bettis said.

Senate Bill 100, authored by Mike Delph, R-Carmel, would allow Indiana fire departments the option to provide free carbon monoxide emissions testing for the inside of your car.

“They would use existing fire department equipment,” Delph explained. “It would basically offer testing. This is a 10 minute test. Five minutes under cold air, five minutes under hot air.”

Tuesday the bill went for a full Senate vote, as Savannah’s parents watched. The bill passed by a vote of 48-0.

“We’re moving forward! It’s going unanimously across the board. So, we’re hoping we can do that through the House and to the Governor’s (desk),” John Bettis said.

The bill now moves over to the House for consideration.

John said he actually spent about $1,400 of his own money to buy 10 of the devices to give to fire departments, if they don’t have one. The devices are about the size of the palm of your hand, and he says they cost around $100 each. A firefighter who was at the session said most fire departments should actually already have the equipment in their fire houses.