WSP Issues Statement on Carbon Monoxide Tragedy

Evergreen staff
Mar 13, 2024
Press Release
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OLYMPIA -- The Evergreen State College has received an initial briefing on the findings of the investigation conducted by the Washington State Patrol into the carbon monoxide poisoning death of student Jonathan Rodriguez and the hospitalization of two other students and an Evergreen police officer on Dec. 11, 2023.

According to the briefing, investigators concluded that the tankless water heater recently installed by a contractor in the modular apartment where the tragedy occurred had not been installed according to standard. The WSP also found deficiencies in the college’s training, protocols and response to the carbon monoxide events and the alarm system in campus housing at Evergreen.

In response to the findings, Dr. John Carmichael, Evergreen’s president, said:

“Jonathan’s death is a devastating loss. This tragedy has deeply affected our whole Evergreen community, and we will continue to grieve. Our care extends to staff – including student staff – who were there on the day of the tragedy and to students who were injured and who lived nearby.

“We are thankful for the Washington State Patrol’s diligence in conducting a thorough investigation. Their investigation found that lack of training and insufficient protocols for responding to carbon monoxide alarms contributed to this tragic accident. As a result, we are taking numerous steps to ensure our students’ safety – including improving training on incident detection and updating alarm response protocols.”

Carmichael added: “This tragedy is a reminder that every year preventable deaths occur due to carbon monoxide poisoning. We hope others across the country can learn from our situation and redouble their efforts at awareness, education and training.”

A full list of additional measures the college has taken can be found on the college webpage dedicated to communicating updates related to the tragedy:

Media Inquiries: Please contact Kelly Von Holtz at 360-918-3686 or via email at