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image Students at Stansbury High School painted the school rock as a tribute to classmate Matthew McConnell. Matthew and his father, Steven, died over the weekend at Flaming Gorge from carbon monoxide poisoning.

February 20, 2014
Poisoning blamed in father and son deaths

A Stansbury Park father and son died of carbon monoxide poisoning while ice fishing at Flaming Gorge Monday.

According to information from the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office in Sweetwater, Wyo., 58-year-old Steven McConnell and his 17-year-old son, Matthew McConnell, were ice fishing with a group on Flaming Gorge near the Big Firehole area.

About 1 a.m. Monday, the group went to sleep. About 9 a.m., when the other members of the group tried to wake the McConnells, who were in their own ice hut, the two were unresponsive.

One member of the group drove to an area where he got cell service and called for emergency response. Medical crews that arrived declared the McConnells dead at the scene.

The investigation found that a propane heater and tank were inside the hut and the heater was still lit when they arrived. The Sweetwater County coroner determined cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the heater.

No foul play is suspected. The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office urged people using any kind of burning heater or stove to ensure their tent, hut or camper be well-ventilated to help avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

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