In Memoriam: Jason Curtis Koontz

Jason Koontz died October 4, 1999

Jason Koontz died October 4, 1999

From the Oregonian, December 29, 2002. Not online.

Jason Curtis Koontz, 23, utility worker, bowler, movie buff.

Jason Curtis Koontz, who suffered from schizophrenia, was involuntarily committed to the Lane County Psychiatric Hospital on Sept. 10, 1999, in what records called “a severe psychotic state.”

During a visit there, Koontz made his mother, Teresa Dupret, promise that if he were to ever suffer a head injury and be placed on life support, she would allow him to die, information Dupret said she immediately passed on to hospital staff.

The next day, records show that a hospital employee found Koontz on the floor of the quiet room in a puddle of blood. Records show he had fallen off a chair backwards. His mother said he threw himself to the floor.

The hospital had no medical staff on duty to tend to Koontz’s head wound and not enough psychiatric staff to take him to another hospital. So they called a volunteer shuttle, records show.

Once outside, an unrestrained Koontz, 23, bolted to a nearby two-story building and dived off.

He never lost consciousness. He did, however, break his neck, his back in three places, puncture his lung and was paralyzed.

Two days later, he won the legal right to be removed from life support and died on Oct. 4, 1999.