INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Twenty-year-old William Wayman, an overnight manager at the McDonald's on 23rd and Sterling, said he feels lucky to be alive after suffering pesticide poisoning while at work on Wednesday night.
"As soon as I came in at 11 o’clock for my overnight shift the previous manager that was on that shift was setting foggers off, and immediately left the store and expected me to run the store with them being set off," Wayman said.
Wayman said three foggers were set, including one behind the main counter, while several employees were still inside and while customers were being served. Wayman said after about 30 minutes he made the decision to close down the store for the night.
"I ended up shutting (the store) down. My eyes starting watering really bad, I started sneezing, couldn’t stop dripping from my nose," he said.
Amy Baird, Wayman's mother, said she was furious after he called her from inside the store to ask what he should do.
"He could have ended up dying. Anything being ingested like that it can poison and it can kill you." Baird said, "I hope (his bosses) end up fired because they should have never put my child in that predicament."
Independence Assistant Health Director Christina Heinen said there is an ongoing investigation and cannot comment on specifics of the case but said they are taking the allegations very seriously.
"Obviously pesticide is a poison and we don’t want anybody inhaling or ingesting it in any manner," Heinen said.
Wayman said he saw a doctor the next morning and was told to take Bendaryl and drink water. He said he is unsure of his job security after closing the store early, but hopes no one else will have to endure what he did.
"I’m hoping this doesn’t happen (again) and if it does that they at least shut the store down so employees, such as myself, and customers don’t get sick like I did," he said.
FOX 4 went inside the McDonald's to talk with the store manager, who declined our request for an interview. FOX 4 was told the restaurant is working with the local health department. Late Friday night, a representative provided this statement:
"Our first and foremost concern is for the safety of our customers and employees. Upon awareness of this incident, we took immediate action. We are working closely with the employee and health department to address the situation and ensure that safety protocols are in place.
We remain committed to serving the highest quality of food and maintaining our customer’s confidence and our employees who serve them."