CO Poisoning Suspected in Student’s Death at College in Washington

One Evergreen State College student died and three others were hospitalized as the result of an apparent CO leak.

CO Poisoning Suspected in Student’s Death at College in Washington

Image via Adobe, by GetFocusArt

CORRECTION: The original article said CO2. It should have said CO. Our apologies for the error.

Olympia, WashingtonCarbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is believed to be the cause of death of one Evergreen State College student and the hospitalization of three other people on Monday.

The incident began that evening after a student resident manager called campus police when they couldn’t contact the three students, according to an announcement by the school.

A campus police officer broke down the door and tried to revive the deceased student with CPR but was unsuccessful. Two other students who were also in the room appeared to be suffering from CO poisoning as well and were transported to the hospital, along with the responding police officer, reports the Columbian.

The deceased student has been identified as 21-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez. The identities of the other two students and police officer who survived have not been released.

The local fire department promptly responded to the scene and conducted CO testing of the impacted areas. Additionally, campus police contacted all of the other Evergreen students who live in campus housing to verify that they were safe.

Earlier on Monday before the tragedy, a contractor working in the Modular Apartments on campus responded to CO alarms, reports Yahoo News. It’s not clear if where the alarm company responded is where the incident occurred.

Carbon monoxide is a clear gas that has no taste or color. It’s for these reasons that CO is very dangerous.

The symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, drowsiness, loss of muscle control, and loss of consciousness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The best way to prevent CO poisoning is to install carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries every six months.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

3 responses to “CO Poisoning Suspected in Student’s Death at College in Washington”

  1. Jerry Bova says:

    It appears the writer has confused CO with CO2.

  2. Dave Havick says:

    You should check your facts about chemistry, Carbon monoxide is CO, not CO2. Mono is one oxygen, Carbon DIoxide is CO2 – Di indicating two.

  3. Neal Zipser says:

    CO2 is carbon dioxide which is totally different than carbon monoxide (CO). For more information, go to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety HQ