Autopsy results show Jared Dion, the 21-year-old University of
Wisconsin-La Crosse student who was recently found dead in the
Mississippi River, died from a combination of high blood-alcohol
level and drowning in cold water, the La Crosse Tribune
Dion, whose blood-alcohol concentration was measured at 0.27,
disappeared in the early hours of April 10 after leaving downtown
bars with friends.
The UW-L community, police and Dion’s family banded together in
search of the junior until police recovered Dion’s body from
the river five days after his disappearance. He is one of many to
have drowned in the Mississippi within the past decade.
It was generally suspected that alcohol was involved, according
to Shift Commander Sgt. Ballas of the La Crosse City Police
Department. Foul play was ruled out early in the investigation.
Police conducted a special meeting for students April 22 to
discuss river drownings, with a panel of university officials,
officers, state criminal investigators and others addressing the
UW-L sophomore Joe Kaltenberg, however, believes students have
not taken the seriousness of the incident into consideration.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s made that kind
of impact, sadly,” he said. “I don’t think it’s kept
people from doing the same activities.”
Police have increased patrolling efforts downtown, Kaltenberg
Petra Roter, UW-L dean of student development and academic
services, sent an e-mail to the student body a day after the
discovery of Dion’s body, urging them to be aware of the
risks associated with drinking.
“Understand that drinking can impair judgment,” she wrote.
“If you decide to drink, do so responsibly.”
Staying with friends and taking advantage of safe-ride programs
can reduce risks, she wrote.
Hundreds of family, fellow athletes and students gathered Monday
to remember Dion in a memorial service, during which those close to
him shared memories of him, the Tribune reported.
Dion was buried April 20 near his hometown of Merton, Wis.