Preliminary autopsy results of a 22-year-old St. Elmo man found dead in a vehicle indicate he likely died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The final autopsy report and toxicology tests are pending. No foul play is suspected.
Effingham County Coroner Duane Guffey stated in a news release that Johnathan Warner was found unresponsive at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday in a vehicle outside The Hangout on U.S. 40 east of Effingham. Warner was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:22 p.m., Guffey said.
Effingham city police and the coroner’s office continue to investigate. Guffey said the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police and Effingham City/County Ambulance assisted in the initial investigation.
As winter approaches,Guffey reminds motorists to be careful when stranded in a vehicle, using an idling vehicle to warm up or take a nap. A defective exhaust system can release carbon monoxide into
the passenger area of a vehicle.