RCMP are cautioning residents about consuming psychoactive mushrooms following the sudden death of a 24-year-old man at Halfway Hot Springs last week. The popular natural hot springs is located off of Highway 23 about 75 kilometres south of Revelstoke.
Dieter Eggers, 24, of Taylor B.C., had been travelling in the area with a friend and when they stopped to visit the popular natural hot springs.
Nakusp RCMP report that Eggers and his friend had spent a few hours at the springs on the evening of Nov. 8 when Eggers suddenly stopped breathing.
The friend then tried to resuscitate Eggers by using CPR for about 30 minutes before leaving the scene to call emergency services. RCMP say they received the call just after 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 8. Because there is no mobile phone service in the semi-remote area, it took the companion some time before he was able to get a signal and make the emergency call.
A press release from the Nakusp RCMP says preliminary results of the autopsy "indicate the cause of death may be linked to the consumption of what was thought by the individual to be 'magic mushrooms' or psilocybin mushrooms."
The Interior Regional Coroners Office states a coroner is investigating the death. An autopsy has been completed, but a toxicology report has also been ordered.
Upon completion of toxicology and microscopic analysis, the office states the coroner can comment on the cause of death. At this time, it's unknown if Eggers' death was influenced by either 'magic mushrooms' or another type of mushroom.
"Although police have not yet been able to determine the origin of the mushrooms suspected to be linked to this death, police are urging everyone to avoid consuming anything that is believed to be 'magic mushrooms' or psilocybin mushrooms as there may be poisonous substances being sold as 'magic mushrooms'," state the Nakusp RCMP in a press release.
The RCMP say foul play has been ruled out, but an RCMP investigation continues to find out the origin of the ingested mushrooms.
By Keith PowelL
November 12, 2009
Revelstoke Times Review