Authorities hope for toxicology tests for cause of death

The coroner's office is hopeful toxicology tests will nail down what killed a 19-year-old Kamloops man found unconscious in his still running pick-up truck this past weekend.

Brandon Hein, 19, died shortly after he was found by friends on Sciutto Lake forest service road Saturday. His friends spotted the man's truck parked on the side of the road around 10:45 a.m. They performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Hein had last been seen about five hours earlier when he left a nearby bush party. Witnesses said he was sober when he left and had consumed little alcohol through the hours before.

Hein graduated from Valleyview secondary school in 2009.

Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said investigators have ruled out foul play. An autopsy, performed Monday, did not reveal any apparent cause of death.

Learned said the case has now been transferred to the coroner's office.

Regional coroner Mark Coleman said he hopes toxicology tests will reveal what the autopsy could not.

Blood tests can show many different processes, agents or causes leading to a person's death, even when there is no visible signs on the body itself.

The tests will reveal, for example, how much carbon monoxide was in Hein's bloodstream. Police suggested Monday carbon monoxide may be responsible for the man's death, based on the fact he was found unconscious inside his running vehicle.

Police intend to examine the vehicle, particularly the exhaust system, in order to determine if it was in proper working order.

Coleman said the toxicology tests will also detect the presence of the drugs or alcohol and whether substances had any impact on the man's death.

Lastly, Coleman said the tests could reveal rare conditions like a cardiac condition, again something that might mot have been apparent in the autopsy.

Results from the tests are expected in about six weeks.

"We really don't know what happened right now," he said.

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