Evergreen President Anticipates Release of Student Death Investigation Results This Week

Credits: ThurstonTalk

The Washington State Patrol is expected to release its report on the carbon monoxide poisoning incident at The Evergreen State College this week, according to the college’s president, who informed the board of trustees on Friday.

The investigation into the death of Jonathan Rodriguez, a student at the Olympia college, has been ongoing for three months since his passing in student housing.

State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis confirmed the announcement on Friday, noting that the investigation, conducted by a forensic engineering company, was delayed due to the recent death of a state trooper, Christopher Gadd. Trooper Gadd’s funeral procession is scheduled for Tuesday, after which the investigation report is expected to be released later in the week.

Evergreen President (Credits: Yahoo News Canada)

Rodriguez, 21, died on December 11 from carbon monoxide exposure in modular housing at the college. Two other students were hospitalized but recovered.

The incident was discovered by a student residence manager who found the students unconscious. An Evergreen police officer who entered the unit was also affected by carbon monoxide poisoning and received treatment at the hospital.

Evergreen College (Credits: The Seattle Times)

In January, the Evergreen board of trustees approved spending up to $1 million to cover costs related to Rodriguez’s death, including the State Patrol investigation, relocating students, and repairing campus housing. Loftis did not immediately clarify why Evergreen would cover the investigation costs instead of the State Patrol.

During the board meeting, chair Karen Fraser expressed condolences for Rodriguez’s passing and shared a tribute to him from the college’s student newspaper, the Cooper Point Journal. The tribute highlighted Rodriguez’s favorite plant, the begonia, using it as a metaphor for his life, symbolizing rejuvenation, joy, and love.

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