Recent Deaths Share Common Factor

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

coroner crime laboratory

The recent death of a Grand Junction man is just one of seven investigated by the Mesa County Coroner in a seven day period.

Mesa County Deputy coroner Robert Kurtzman investigates cause of death, a lot of those are a result of alcohol or drug use. "Nation wide they represent a significant number of preventable deaths in the United States, about 75,000 people every year," says Kurtzman.

His most recent investigation was into the death of 28–year–old Aaron Rudder of Grand Junction, who was hit by a Union Pacific train early in the morning of December 2nd it was believed Rudder had been drinking.

Kurtzman says alcohol levels in Rudder have not yet been released. "By reports and by clinical appearances the level should be greater than 0.1."

Rudder's death was the seventh in a seven days period, spanning November 25th to December 2nd, investigated by the coroner all with alcohol or drugs as a contributing factor. Kurtzman says, "What was a little unusual for the last week or so is that we had so many consecutively."

Of Rudder's death Kurtzman says, "The question in that particular instance is; was it intentional or was it unintentional and there may not be any way to determine that."

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