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Popular Vancouver sportswriter Jason Botchford died of an accidental overdose: coroner

Click to play video: 'Accidental cocaine and fentanyl overdose claimed life of sports writer Jason Botchford' Accidental cocaine and fentanyl overdose claimed life of sports writer Jason Botchford
Accidental cocaine and fentanyl overdose claimed life of sports writer Jason Botchford – Aug 28, 2020

A coroner’s report has determined that popular Vancouver sports journalist Jason Botchford died of an accidental overdose of cocaine and fentanyl.

The 48-year-old was found dead on April 29, 2019, and left behind a wife and three children.

Click to play video: 'Overdose death toll sets another new monthly record' Overdose death toll sets another new monthly record
Overdose death toll sets another new monthly record – Aug 25, 2020

According to the report by coroner Kristin Vanderkuip, he was found unresponsive in a private home at 11 a.m. on that Monday morning, but hadn’t been seen since about 9:20 p.m. the previous Thursday.

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Read more: Well-known Vancouver sportswriter Jason Botchford dead at 48

Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene and there was no evidence of foul play.

“The effects of these substances, in isolation or when combined, are unpredictable and sufficient to cause death,” the report said.

Click to play video: 'Dr. Bonnie Henry on COVID-19 and B.C.’s overdose crisis' Dr. Bonnie Henry on COVID-19 and B.C.’s overdose crisis
Dr. Bonnie Henry on COVID-19 and B.C.’s overdose crisis – Aug 25, 2020

In a statement Friday, Botchford’s wife, Kathryn, said the report confirmed what the family had already been told unofficially.

“We were completely shocked and in disbelief to discover the cause of Jason’s sudden death,” she wrote.

“The cause does not change who Jason was to all of us but just makes his death that much harder to comprehend. We are still grieving.”

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The statement goes on to thank the community for their outpouring of support in the wake of his death, and to ask for privacy.

Botchford rose to prominence through his Vancouver Canucks coverage with The Province newspaper, and made regular appearances on TSN radio.

In 2018, he left Postmedia to join The Athletic as a senior hockey writer.

Read more: Illicit drug deaths in B.C. higher than homicides, car crashes, suicide, COVID-19 combined: report

Earlier this week, data from the BC Coroners Service showed the province’s fatal overdose epidemic was continuing to accelerate.

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July marked the fifth consecutive month in which overdose deaths were recorded in the triple digits, and brought the 2020 overdose death toll in B.C. to more than 900.

Overdose fatalities have grown to surpass homicides, motor vehicle incidents, suicides and COVID-19 combined, chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said.

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