Haan's Parents: Don't let CO poisoning claim another life - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Haan's Parents: Don't let CO poisoning claim another life

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Outside his parent's home, there's a yellow ribbon for Cole Haan. The color, for his service in the National Guard -- they life they expected.

"Accidents like this you can't see happening," said his mother, Kris Haan.

Haan was killed after exhaust fumes filled his Dodge Durango SUV earlier this month. Now, the yellow ribbon on his mother's jacket honors another cause -- awareness for the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Just to have something like this happen, purely by accident," Kris Haan said. "I mean, he was in the middle of an open parking lot."

Kris and her husband Clay remember their son as the kid who could hardly take a serious picture -- but also as one of the youngest black belt karate instructors in Iowa. The teen was planning on opening his own studio when he attended Gonzaga in the fall.

Why he was taken -- no one can really know. Though the Haans feel there is a greater reason than tragedy.

"For me, personally, I have to think of it as Cole accomplished so much in his short 18 years that God needed him up there," Cole's mother said. "He could accomplish more be leaving us, and maybe he has already. he's saved several lives by donating his organs, and making other people aware of what is going on."

Kris said her friends have told her of an other teenager in Illinois, who felt sick while driving, but knew to get out of their car because of Cole's story.

"Another young man, Cole's age..." she said. "It saved his life. What more can you ask from your own child, to save others?"

"That's got to be it," said Clay.

But now, Cole is gone, and they're left with the memories, including the last picture of their son and his two siblings, clustered in his hospital bed before the life support was removed.

"They were saying goodbye," Mrs. Haan said.

What they hang on to -- a plaster cast of Cole's palm, taken in the hospital -- a surrogate for a hand they can no longer hold.

A Go Fund Me account has been established for Haan's medical exspenses. Donations can be made online here.

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