Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Man died on Mount Ellinor

Man Found
More details have been released about the Hoodsport man who was found dead off Forest Service Road 2441. According to the Mason County Sheriff's Office, searchers found 64-year-old Gerrold A. Graham dead just off of the road about ten Saturday morning. Graham was located about 15 feet off of the roadway after a ten hour search. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Graham was the driver of his 1997 Ford Pickup truck. Passengers in the vehicle told deputies that Graham drove into some snow on the roadway and the truck became stuck when he tried to back up. Two of the passengers, identified as Susan Sill and Richard E. Matheson, both 55 of Hoodsport, walked out of the area to get help. They left Graham and 37-year-old Matthew A. Pintar behind until they could get help. The passengers told deputies it was still daylight when they left. Shortly after midnight Matheson called the Sheriff's Office to report the incident and direct deputies to the vehicle, which was located about two miles up the 2441 Road from Forest Service Road 24. When deputies located the vehicle a search and rescue operation was immediately started. Pintar was located by Deputies in good condition some distance from the vehicle. The search utilized a total of 29 volunteers from the Thurston County Sheriff's Office Jeep Patrol, South Sound Search and Rescue, air scent dogs, blood hounds, Mason County Communications and four sheriff's deputies. Graham was found dead by searchers about a mile away from his vehicle. Investigators noted it appeared Graham had been dead for several hours when he was found. Graham was reported to be in poor health. Deputies also stated alcohol very likely played a part in the man's death. The cause of death has not yet been determined as an autopsy is scheduled Tuesday. (Updated 7:25am 4/8)

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