Fewer died in Summit in 2007
February 6, 2008
SUMMIT COUNTY According to Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson, the number of deaths in Summit County for 2007 marks the lowest count in the past 10 years.There were a total of 42 deaths in Summit County in 2007, a relatively low number compared to 70 deaths in 2006, and 50 deaths in 2005. Natural causes accounted for 23 of the deaths, with 15 accidental deaths, three suicides and one undetermined death. Of all the deaths, 27 were male and 15 were females, Richardson said. Overall, 17 of the deaths were local residents.Motor vehicle related deaths accounted for the largest number of accidental deaths with five, and skier related accidents came in a close second with four deaths. There was also one snowmobiler death, two pedestrians that died after getting hit by cars, two drug overdoses, and one bicycle crash. One of the reasons why this years number is lower than in years past is because a lot of cases were transferred down to Denver, said Richardson. A lot of times cases are transferred down because we dont have things like a cardiac catheter lab or a level one trauma center, so cases are taken down to Denver for better care.Richardson also cites that the excellent medical care available at St. Anthonys Summit Medical Center has also helped the reduce the number of deaths in the county last year. St. Anthonys currently has a Level III trauma designation, which provides surgical, anesthesia and critical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So far in 2008 there have been nine deaths, consisting of four natural heart related deaths and five accidental deaths. Of the five accidental deaths so far in 2008, four were ski related. That number already matches the total ski deaths last year.Ashley Dickson can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.