Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Two truck stop deaths blamed on drugs

Lomi Kriel of the Express-News reports that two of the several mysterious deaths at area truck stops can be blamed on drugs.

The deaths of a man and woman discovered inside their idling big rig at a far East Side truck stop in November was an accident and the two overdosed on methamphetamine, the Bexar County medical examiner's office ruled Tuesday.

Harry Akroyd Jr., 35, and Michelle McLean, 32, were discovered inside their locked cab Nov. 1 at the Petro Stopping Center in the 1100 block of Ackerman Road, just off Interstate 10. A trucker who had parked next to them noticed a foul smell coming from the 18-wheeler and alerted managers. ...

The couple's deaths were the first of several in the area near the truck stop — over the course of a month, five truck drivers were found dead, none with any apparent trauma to their bodies.

On Nov. 20, Robert Monroe was found inside an 18-wheeler at a truck stop in the 11390 block of Interstate 35 South near Fischer Road, but it was determined the 69-year-old had died of heart disease.

On Thanksgiving Day, 42-year-old Byron Gonzalez was found dead inside his rig. The cause and manner of his death is pending a toxicology report.

Ray Hardestey was found dead Nov. 27 inside his rig at the Flying J truck stop, in the 1800 block of Foster Road. It was later ruled that Hardestey, 53, died because of a heart attack.

Truckers, be careful. It looks like there's nothing insidious going on here, but drugs probably should not figure into your job in the first place. And the truck stop owners probably appreciate people staying alive in their parking lots. Heart attacks are less easy to avoid, but the drugs can be overcome.

Just something to think about.

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