Coroner’s report details record year
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson released her final report for 2006 this week, detailing a year that set a record for the number of deaths in the county.Last year, 70 people died in the county, registering well beyond the previous record of 54 back in 1993.Richardson explains the high levels as an anomaly, particularly because 2007 is on the way to setting a record low with only 16 deaths to-date, the lowest number for this time of year in the past decade. “Until we get another year like (2006), I can’t say that it’s due to population,” she said. “It is what it is I guess. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.” According to Richardson’s statistics: 65 percent of the deaths in 2006 were due to natural causes; 24 percent were accidents; 19 percent were the result of suicide; and 1 percent is undetermined. The single undetermined death is that of Roberto Acosta-Reyes, a 27-year-old Keystone employee who drowned in Keystone Lake last year. The manner of death is pending because the police investigation into his death is still open, Richardson said. Of the natural deaths, 27 were heart related; three were heart and lung related; five were due to cancer; two were due to pneumonia; two to Alzheimer’s Disease; two were brain/seizure related; and one was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Of the accidental deaths, five were the result of a car accident; four were ski-related deaths; three were the result of a fall; two people drowned; two were overdoses; one was hypothermia; and one was asphyxiation. Drugs or alcohol were present in 15 deaths. 80 percent of all deaths were male. All seven suicides were men. Nearly half of all the deaths – 34 out of 70 – were local residents. The largest number of deaths – 26 percent – fell into the 50 to 59 age category. Nobody between the ages of 1 and 9 or 90 and older died in the county last year.Richardson completes reports on an annual basis. Data from previous years can be accessed on her website at http://www.co.summit.co.us/Coroner/index.html.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at email@example.com.
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