Summit County deaths dropped by nearly 25 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, a sharp reduction stemming from fewer traffic fatalities, accidental overdoses and suicides, according to an annual report published by the Summit County Coroner’s Office last week.
There were a total of 63 deaths in Summit County last year, the lowest total in three years. The coroner’s office recorded 82 deaths in 2016 and a record-setting 87 deaths in 2015. Sixty people died in Summit in 2014.
Officials were surprised by the reversal of that trend, especially in light of record-setting visitor numbers last year, a strong economy and an uptick in crime numbers. Heart attacks and other cardiac ailments, however, continue to be the leading cause of death in Summit, and many of them were once again attributed to the effects of altitude on visitors from the low country.