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UCSD burn center director dies in parked vehicle near Ocotillo

March 09, 2001|By ANTHONY LONGORIA, Staff Writer

OCOTILLO — The director of the University of California San Diego Regional Burn Center died here Wednesday shortly after a sheriff's deputy found the man stopped alongside Imperial Highway and in need of medical attention.

Imperial County Chief Deputy Coroner Rick Macken said that a sheriff's deputy, on routine patrol in the area, discovered Dr. John F. Hansbrough, 55, along Imperial Highway about one mile north of Interstate 8.

Macken said Hansbrough was not thought to be dead when he was found by the deputy, but he was not responsive.

Medical crews were called to the scene and did try to revive Hansbrough, but he was pronounced dead at the scene at about 12:30 p.m. The cause of his death was unknown as of this morning and an autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.

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The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a family friend, who spoke for the family, said the death was accidental. Neither the university nor the family friend knew why Hansbrough was in the Imperial Valley.

Macken said he has ruled out foul play in the case.

"There was no indication of any other people present or any evidence that would indicate it would be a situation of foul play," Macken said.

Hansbrough was an internationally respected expert on burn care and a pioneer in the development of substitute skin for burn patients, the Union-Tribune reported.

Staff Writer Anthony Longoria can be reached at 337-3452.

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