Glenwood Springs man found dead in his car
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – All David Horton wanted was a little spare change. But as he walked through the Village Inn parking lot Friday evening, he found something else – the body of Rodger Hostettler, behind the wheel of his car.
Hostettler, 61, of Glenwood Springs was found in his car around 8 p.m. Friday evening and apparently died from a cardiovascular disease, said Garfield County Deputy Coroner Kristin Clifford.
Horton didn’t find out that Hostettler died until he called the police department the following day. But he did all that he could to try and help when he found Hostettler.
“I thought he was just drunk,” Horton said. “But I thought I should just check him to make sure.”
Horton said as he approached Hostettler’s vehicle he yelled, “Hey, buddy,” to see if he could get his attention, without response.
“I didn’t want to grab him if he was just drunk,” Horton said.
He checked for a pulse and found none. He then pulled Hostettler’s body from the vehicle and summoned help.
“I asked one guy, please help me, I think this guy is dead,” Horton said. “But he said I was trying to scam him.”
Help finally came a few moments later, when, according to Horton, another man passing by went into Village Inn to call the police. Horton started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) trying to revive Hostettler.
“I cleared his airway because it looked like he had food in his mouth,” Horton said. “I didn’t really know how to do CPR all that good, but I started and was calling out for people to help me.”
Police and the Glenwood Fire Department arrived on the scene shortly after 8 p.m. But attempts to resuscitate by the emergency medical services weren’t successful.
“It sounds like (Horton) had gone over to the person in the vehicle and ascertained that it didn’t look too good,” said Police Chief Terry Wilson.
Hostettler’s body was received by the Coroner’s Office by 9 p.m. Friday. The same night, Horton was sleeping outside, wondering if the man he tried to help had pulled through.
“I just wanted to know if he was all right,” Horton said.
Still visibly shaken by the experience, Horton explained how it all played out that fateful night. But as he left the Post Independent Tuesday morning, he was more focused on the family of the man he tried to help. Horton didn’t even know the man’s name yet.
“I just think about his family and what they must be going through right now,” Horton said.
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