Coroner: Biker overheated in desert

A Denver man described by friends as an experienced dirt biker died last month in the desert north of Grand Junction as a result of overheating, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office said Monday.

Mesa County Coroner Dr. Dean Havlik said Nolus Xavier Sunoon, 34, had no injuries that contributed to his death, while a toxicology report recently received turned up nothing significant. The coroner ruled Sunoon’s death was accidental and caused by hyperthermia, or overheating of the body.

Sunoon’s body was discovered by Mesa County Search and Rescue volunteers on June 11, roughly a mile away from where his Honda 125cc dirt bike was found at the base of the Bookcliffs and north of Grand Junction Motor Speedway. Searchers found his helmet near the abandoned bike and footprints leading away, headed south toward Grand Junction. The tracks led to his body on a hillside in the desert.

Sunoon was reported overdue by friends on June 10, after he’d failed to show for work in Denver. He left Denver bound for Grand Junction on June 8. Sunoon was said to have been an experienced biker who had come to the local desert many times prior to the June trip.

More than 50 law enforcement personnel and Search and Rescue volunteers battled high winds and hot temperatures during a search for Sunoon.


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