Coroner: Danville lawyer found in car died of carbon-monoxide poisoning

Coroner: Danville lawyer found in car died of carbon-monoxide poisoning

DANVILLE — The Vermilion County coroner has released an official cause in the death of a Danville attorney found in his vehicle south of Rossville in early December.

Coroner Jane McFadden said test results showed that Steven L. Blakely, 53, died from carbon-monoxide poisoning. Final toxicology testing, which took more than a month, included carboxyhemoglobin testing, or the measuring of the amount of carbon monoxide in red blood cells.

Mr. Blakely was a law partner at Acton and Snyder on North Street in downtown Danville.

McFadden said Mr. Blakely was likely subjected to the carbon monoxide from his vehicle's exhaust leaking into the car after the tailpipe became submerged in water.

An accident report from the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department said when deputies found the car at 1:47 a.m. Dec. 4 in the ditch along Illinois 1 near County Road 3450 N, immediately south of Rossville, the rear of the vehicle was submerged in standing water.

They found Mr. Blakely dead behind the wheel. He had no apparent injuries.

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