St. Marys bridge death ruled accident

By Greg Sowinski

March 20, 2014

ST. MARYS — A man who was found dead, dangling upside down from a bridge with his leg caught in a guardrail, died because he could not breathe, a coroner ruled Thursday.

The death of 36-year-old Richard A. Moon III, of St. Marys, has been ruled an accident. He was found March 9 hanging from a bridge on Washington Pike Road.

The coroner ruled Moon died of “positional asphyxia,” which means breathing was impeded by the position the body was in.

Auglaize County Coroner Dr. Thomas Freytag said all indications are Moon died because he was unable to breathe.

Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon said there was nothing found at the scene to indicate Moon’s death was anything but accidental. It appears Moon got his foot caught on the bridge support. He fell and was left hanging for several hours, Solomon said.

Investigators are waiting on the toxicology results to determine if alcohol or drugs were in his system.

“This case is still under investigation by the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office and the Auglaize County Coroner. However, we are not finding anything to suggest anything other than an accidental fall from a bridge and Mr. Moon’s foot becoming lodged,” Solomon said.

Moon’s vehicle was found nearby and was involved in a crash about one-tenth of a mile east of the bridge that crosses East Branch Creek. The crash was unrelated to Moon hanging from the bridge, Solomon said.

They do not suspect Moon’s death was a suicide and there is no indication to point to that, Solomon said.

Moon was not reported missing, Solomon said.