Investigators rule carbon monoxide caused truck driver's death

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 2/23/2015

A Mississippi truck driver’s death has been ruled as accidental. The body of OOIDA Life Member Anthony Wayne Azlin, 44, of Etta, Miss., was found in his sleeper berth in Hope, Ark., on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Capt. Frank McJunkins of the Hempstead County’s Sheriff’s Office told Land Line on Monday, Feb. 23, that Azlin died from carbon monoxide poisoning. A portable generator was found running inside the truck driver’s cab.

McJunkins, who heads the county’s Criminal Investigation Division, said a family member had been unable to reach Azlin. The relative had called the weigh station in Hope, Ark., the last known place where the trucker had checked in.

“So one of the (Arkansas) Highway Police officers went out and checked his truck, and sure enough they found him,” he said. “They called us and the state police in to investigate it.”

Azlin’s body was then sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy, according to McJunkins.

“Any unintended death like that we send to the crime lab for an autopsy,” he said. “And that’s when it came back as carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Azlin had parked at the weigh station the previous night, Feb. 16, because he had an oversized load and “wasn’t going to be able to transport after dark,” McJunkins said.

According to weather reports, the temperature was around 19 degrees at midnight.

A portable generator was found running in Azlin’s truck, but McJunkins said he was unsure of the generator’s make and model. He also wasn’t sure if a carbon monoxide detector was installed inside the truck driver’s cab.

“The truck had already been removed and transported home by the time we received the results that it was carbon monoxide,” McJunkins said. “What we do know is that the portable generator was mounted underneath the sleeper (berth) of the truck.”

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