The death of a Durango man who was found dead last month on Smelter Mountain has been ruled an accident, according to a final autopsy report.
David Mondragon, 31, was found dead April 26 after it appeared his car went off the hillside. He was reported missing by family members earlier that month after last being seen leaving Steamworks Brewing Co. around 9 p.m. April 10.
An autopsy report from the La Plata County Coroner’s Office said Mondragon died from injuries he suffered after driving off the road.
“It is difficult to identify the exact cause of death in this situation, though certainly it would appear that this individual had multiple traumatic lesions which in combination could certainly explain his demise,” the report said. “It is also possible that he was knocked unconscious and ended up dying of blood loss and exposure, again associated with the accident.”
Coroner Jann Smith said a full toxicology screen wasn’t possible because of the body’s decomposition. But samples from blood and urine found Mondragon had a blood-alcohol level of 0.118. The state limit for driving is 0.08.
No other illicit drugs or substances were found, according to the report.
Smith said the final autopsy report did not come to a definitive conclusion about when Mondragon died. Smith believes he died a few days before being discovered on Smelter Mountain, while investigators with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office believe he died about the time he went missing.
It is still unclear to authorities why Mondragon was on Smelter Mountain and what caused his vehicle to go off the hillside, Smith said. Calls to the Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Authorities say Mondragon’s silver 1998 Toyota 4Runner was found about 100 yards down the hill, and his body had been ejected.
On April 26, hikers spotted a few items on top of Smelter Mountain and notified police who determined the items belonged to Mondragon. A search ensued, and his body and car were found down the mountain.