Coroner rules death of Matthew Besner accidental
MONTREAL - A coroner has determined that the death of a man who fell into the Lachine Canal was a drunken accident.
Matthew Besner was having dinner with friends in Old Montreal in December when he went outside and sat on a bench.
He was last seen at 2:45 a.m. by his friends waiting for their designated driver outside L'Orignal restaurant on St. Alexis near Notre Dame, but by the time the car arrived Besner was gone.
After two days of searching the body of the 27-year-old was discovered on Dec. 21 2010, partially submerged in the canal.
After a full examination the coroner determined that Besner had not been attacked, but had instead walked away from the restaurant, fallen into the ice-covered canal twice and managed to get partway out, where he died of hypothermia.
The coroner determined that Besner, who was not wearing a hat or gloves, would have been suffering from hypothermia before he fell into the water, and likely died about an hour after he left his friends.
Besner was likely disoriented since he had a blood alcohol level of 0.26, more than three times the legal limit for driving.