Coroner: EBR deputy died of heart failure moments before crash Thursday morning
EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH - The coroner's office says an East Baton Rouge deputy involved in an accident Thursday morning died of heart failure just moments before the crash.
The wreck happened around 6:30 a.m. Thursday on Port Hudson-Pride Road, west of LA 19.
The sheriff's office identified the deputy as 42-year-old Lt. Steven Whitstine. A K9 was also in the unit during the crash, but sustained only minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.
Investigators believe Whitstine was on his way to work in Zachary at the time of the crash. Though it was initially thought the crash killed him, an autopsy report revealed Friday that Whitstine's death was actually caused by "Congestive Heart Failure due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy," which is likely what caused his vehicle to run off the roadway.
Whitstine is survived by his wife Elisha, who is also a sheriff's deputy, and his children.
The roadway reopened around 9 a.m. following the procession for the fallen deputy to the EBR Coroner's Office. However, city officials later announced that emergency repairs were needed on the Port Hudson-Pride Road bridge as a result from the crash. The roadway was reopened Friday morning.
The crash involved no other vehicles and remains under investigation.
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