Alcohol poisoning determined to be cause of Port Angeles man’s death

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles man’s blood alcohol level was nine times the legal limit for driving under the influence when his body was found in his RV trailer home Sept. 18.

Mark Nichols, Clallam County coroner-prosecuting attorney, said Friday that Ryan Andrew Mongar, 29, died of acute alcohol poisoning, according to State Patrol lab toxicology results that Nichols received last week.

Mongar’s blood alcohol level was .70 — compared to the DUI limit of .08 — when his fully-clothed body was found on the floor of his Peabody Creek RV Park-area home.

At the time, the death was considered a mystery since there were no obvious signs of the cause of death — no indication of foul play or that Mongar died by suicide.

Nichols said the manner of death was accidental and the cause of death “acute ethanol intoxication.”

Mongar’s body was found lying on the floor by a friend who said Mongar had not been seen for a few days, police said.

An area resident described Mongar “as a nice guy to everyone and doesn’t have anger issues,” according to the police report.

Nichols, at the prosecuting attorney office more than 15 years and the former deputy coroner, said he does not recall ever seeing a BAC level as high as .70.

“In the .40 range is something we have have experienced at different times,” he said.

“From a public health perspective, it’s a helpful reminder that alcohol, a substance that’s freely available, when abused can be abused to the point of resulting in a fatality, so there a good reminder for the traveling public.”

A BAC of .70 far beyond what most people can tolerate, Tacoma forensic pathologist Dr. Eric Kiesel said Friday.

“That’s twice the level that will cause most people to go into a coma,” said Kiesel, a former Snohomish County medical examiner.

“The highest I’ve known about is where someone was still walking and talking at .75. That’s extemely rare.”

Kiesel also has known of novice drinkers who died with a .30 BAC and chronic alcoholics functioning with a .45.

Mongar was 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 175 pounds.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected]

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