Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah father and son die from CO poisoning at Flaming Gorge

First Published Feb 18 2014 05:36 pm • Last Updated Feb 19 2014 09:34 am

A propane heater appears to have caused the death of a Utah father and his teenage son, who were poisoned by carbon monoxide while camping at Flaming Gorge.

Steven McConnell, 58, and 17-year-old Matthew McConnell, of Stansbury Park, were camping with a group in ice fishing huts this weekend in the Big Firehole area, according to a press statement by the Sweetwater County, Wyo., sheriff’s department.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The McConnells went to sleep on cots in their own huts about 1 a.m. Monday; when their companions tried to wake them about 9 a.m., they were unresponsive, deputies reported. One member of the group went to the boat ramp about a half mile away and flagged down a passer-by to drive to where he could get cell service and call for help. However responders found the McConnells had died.

They found a lit propane heater and propane tank inside the hut, apparently the source of carbon monoxide.

Laurie McConnell, sister and daughter of Matthew and Steven, said she is mystified that the heater was left on.

"It’s a shock," she said. "My dad was so careful about everything. I wish people could know how organized my dad is, and how safety-minded he is."

She said the family can only speculate as to how this happened to two lifelong sportsmen who have camped, fished and hunted for as long as she can remember.

"This was a terrible accident and no foul play is suspected," said sheriff’s Col. Rick Hawkins. "If you are camping in any shelter with a burning heater or a stove, it’s important that your tent, hut or camper be well-ventilated."


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.