December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria worker found dead in home

ELYRIA – A city employee who was caught driving under the influence in a city vehicle earlier this year has died.

Jurco

Jurco

Matt Jurco, 32, was found unresponsive at his Hollywood Boulevard home Monday afternoon.

Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino said police were called to the home at 4:53 p.m.

“His wife came home and found him in the basement unresponsive,” Costantino said. “She called for help. LifeCare and the Fire Department responded and we were called as well.”

Costantino said Jurco’s death is being investigated. He did not release any additional information.

“I don’t want to say anything until I get the coroner’s report back,” he said.

Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans said a cause of death has not been determined. Jurco was pronounced dead at his home by paramedics.

Tests, including toxicology, are being performed, Evans said.

Jurco recently pleaded no contest to DUI and possession of drugs charges stemming from an March 13 incident where he was caught driving under the influence in a Utilities Department truck  near the Black River overpass on Gulf Road. Police reported they immediately detected signs that Jurco was impaired and found drug paraphernalia and prescription drugs not prescribed to him.

Jurco was employed as a meter reader for the city.

Additional charges of possession of drug abuse instruments and possession of drug paraphernalia were dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to Elyria Municipal Court records.

Jurco was sentenced to a total of 60 days in jail, but all but three of those were suspended. He was fined and was given limited driving privileges.

Part of the conditions of his conviction included drug and alcohol counseling. At that time, his attorney, Paul St. Marie, said Jurco had realized he had a problem and wanted to deal with it.

The incident also resulted in sanctions from the city.

The city suspended Jurco for 30 days and he signed a last-chance agreement that allowed for random drug testing. Since returning to work, Jurco has passed at least one drug test, according to Elyria Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka.

Court records indicate Jurco had had prior traffic infractions, including pleading down a DUI charge to reckless operation in 2002. He was convicted in 2011 of physical control and reckless operation that led to him taking a class geared toward preventing drunken driving.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.