Man’s horror at finding mum and teen sister dead after opening burger van door

A devastated bloke found his mum and his 17-year-old "beautiful baby sister" dead in a burger van after they perished due to a suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tyla Wanstall found Leah Churchill, 50, and Brooke Wanstall at the Meat 'N' Greet snack truck on a road in Whitstable, Kent, on Tuesday morning (February 14).

It's understood the two suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from generator fumes while decorating the wagon for Tyla's 26th birthday.

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Tyla, who has just had a baby boy with his partner Beth, said he arrived at the wagon at about 8am to start work and was surprised to see his mum's car parked up outside.

"They were decking the van out inside in balloons and bunting as a birthday surprise for me, like my mum would do at home every year," he said.

He told KentOnline how he opened the van door, initially thinking they were asleep.

"I smelt fumes but it just didn't register straight away, but it became obvious they were both dead.

"I called the police and ambulance but it was the firefighters who told me it was likely carbon monoxide poisoning."

The 26-year-old said he was "heartbroken" to think the mum and daughter duo had spent their final moments "trying to put a smile on my face".

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Leah, from Canterbury, had two other children and had been helping Tyla with his takeaway van two days a week, he said.

His sister, he added, had just recently left school after finishing her GCSEs.

"She had her whole life in front of her," he said.

"She did really well in her grades and had just started work as a carer, which she was really enjoying. She was also due to take her driving test next week."

Tyla says the whole family is reeling from the tragedy and still trying to come to terms with what has happened.


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