Father, son die of CO poisoning while on ice fishing trip

Posted at 9:01 PM, Feb 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-18 23:02:48-05

FLAMING GORGE — A father and son from Stansbury Park were found dead because of carbon monoxide poisoning Monday morning while camping on the Wyoming side of Flaming Gorge, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Steven McConnell, 58, and his son Matthew, 17, were part of a group of ice fishers in the Big Firehole area approximately 10 miles south of the Green River, said Col. Rick Hawkins with the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

The group had four ice fishing huts set up on the ice and were camped about a half mile from the Big Firehole boat ramp.

The McConnells were found unresponsive at approximately 9 a.m. Monday morning by their ice fishing group. A member of the party went to the Big Firehole boat ramp to find cell phone service, Hawkins said.

While at the ramp he met Zackery Constantino, of Rock Springs, Colo., who drove to a location where he could notify authorities.

When police and medical personnel arrived it was determined that the father and son were dead on scene, Hawkins said.

Deputies determined that the McConnells died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a heater still lit in their hut.

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