Drug overdose cause of death for couple found at San Antonio truck stop

| 12/22/2006

A drug overdose has been determined to be the cause of death in the case of a couple who were found in the sleeper berth of their truck at a San Antonio, TX, truck stop on Nov. 1.

Wanda Austin, who works in the office of the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office, told Land Line that Harry Ackroyd, 35, and his common-law wife, Michelle (McLean) Ackroyd, 32, died as the result of “methamphetamine intoxication.”

Austin said the autopsy report has not been finalized yet and that it may still be a few weeks before more details surrounding the Ackroyds’ deaths are released. Their bodies were discovered at the Petro Stopping Center on Ackerman Road in San Antonio after a pair of truckers alerted the store managers to a foul smell coming from the couple’s truck, which was idling at the time.

Since September, the bodies of seven truckers have been found at truck stops in the San Antonio area. Another body was found at a motel adjacent to a truck stop in the area.

Mainstream media had speculated whether laced drugs could have been the cause of the rash of deaths in and around the truck stops. At least four of the deaths have been linked to heart conditions.

Austin said that even if bad drugs were the cause, this information wouldn’t be included in the autopsy reports.

“The reports are not going to say if it’s bad drugs, the reports are just going to say the cause and manner of their deaths,” she said.

Some truckers have speculated that carbon monoxide built up during truck idling may have caused the deaths; however, this proved not to be the case in the deaths of the couple.

The toxicology reports are still pending in the death of Byron Gonzales, 42, who was found Nov. 23 in the cab of his truck at the same Petro Stopping Center as the Ackroyds’ bodies were found. A carbon monoxide test was performed on Gonzales; however, it may be a few more weeks before the cause of death is determined.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer