Word of coroner’s death "greatly exaggerated’ | SummitDaily.com

Word of coroner’s death "greatly exaggerated’

by Jane Stebbins

SILVERTHORNE – Dave Joslin looks pretty good – for a dead guy.

But the rumor of his death, he said, is “greatly exaggerated and very premature.”

Joslin, the county coroner, has come close to dying a few times before in his life. Once while in flight training in the Navy, he made an error that forced his plane into an inverted spin at 12,000 feet. Usually such a spin requires 20,000 feet to recover.

Dumb luck got him out of that one, Joslin said.

While on a tour of duty in Vietnam, he often heard bullets flying by. Again, dumb luck one didn’t strike him, he said.

And late last month, word on the street was he’d been killed in a car wreck.

It started with a search and rescue operation to retrieve the body of a Denver woman who had fallen from Quandary Mountain July 28. Her body was placed in Joslin’s vehicle and the coroner agreed to meet Chris Hegmann, owner of Hegmann Funeral Services in Idaho Springs, at the Emergency Services building in Frisco. The two transferred the body, and Hegmann left, Joslin said.

Hegmann’s vehicle, however, was struck by a drunken driver on Interstate 70, and skidded 186 feet on its roof. State patrol, ambulance and fire officials were notified.

“I don’t know who, but in an attempt to expedite the scene, someone with a county radio called the communication center and indicated that “Dave Joslin’s body was in the back of the mortuary vehicle,'” Joslin said. “Her body (the hiker) and everything she owns is in my possession until I release the body to the family. They were saying “Dave Joslin’s body’ was in the vehicle, not the body I use every day.”

Joslin said he was greeted with surprise when he arrived on the scene.

Hegmann, who received a minor cut on his head, transferred the body into Joslin’s vehicle and continued the trip to Idaho Springs.

“I understood how it occurred, and was pleased it was misinterpreted by a lot of people,” Joslin said. “If you haven’t got a sense of humor, you can’t do this job.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.

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