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thedrifter
02-02-07, 08:10 AM
Marine's death ruled an accident
Military - Sgt. William Wold's parents question the results of an autopsy that blamed medication
Friday, February 02, 2007
DEE ANNE FINKEN
The Oregonian

The death of a 23-year-old Marine from Camas, Wash., in early November was an accident, according to the San Diego County medical examiner, but the sergeant's parents say the report prompts more questions than answers, including whether the military properly treated him.

"How can they justify this as an accident? And whose accident is it?" said Sandra Wold, the mother of Sgt. William C. Wold. His body was found in his San Diego bunk three days after his discharge from a military hospital. He was at the facility to be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder that his family said caused a drug addiction.

In a report dated Jan. 8, the medical examiner concluded Wold's death was "best listed as methadone, clonazepam, diazepam, and fluoxetine toxicity."

Two friends discovered the Marine in his bed at barracks affiliated with the Balboa Naval Medical Center. The night before, the three had gone out for tattoos and returned to Wold's quarters to eat fast food and watch a movie.

Sandra Wold of Camas said her son had not been prescribed methadone at the time of his death. But he had been prescribed the anti-addiction drug along with the three other medications during hospitalizations two months earlier at California military facilities at Camp Pendleton and in Palo Alto.

"Those were not lethal drugs at Camp Pendleton, and they were in the same combination," Wold said Thursday in a phone interview. "How can that be?"

Marines public affairs officers at Camp Pendleton, where William Wold had been stationed, declined to comment, saying details weren't immediately available.

Wold, who was buried Nov. 17 in Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver, enlisted in the Marines at 17 and was selected to guard President Bush for three years at Camp David before going to Iraq in 2004. In fighting in Fallujah that year, he suffered a blast injury.

His mother said the war also severely affected her son emotionally and psychologically, and that led to his drug problem.

One incident he found particularly tough to forget involved a vehicle running a roadblock. Directed to fire as the vehicle came through the roadblock, the troops later discovered the van had been filled with children. The incident left Wold unable to sleep, eat or be among crowds.

He re-enlisted, his mother said, hoping to find solace in the company of others in the military. But, according to official records, he was unable to complete a substance abuse program and was being readied for military discharge when he was moved from the naval hospital to the barracks.

The Department of the Navy has said it is performing a criminal investigation into Wold's death, but it is not complete.

Ellie