Box Elder County Jail inmate dies after being transferred to hospital

Box Elder County Jail

BRIGHAM CITY — A 50-year-old inmate at the Box Elder County Jail has died after reportedly experiencing drug withdrawals. Jail deputies allege that Thomas Jeffery Johnston was experiencing detox symptoms Saturday and was transported to the Brigham City Community Hospital. He was admitted and treated but died about an hour later.

In a press release, Box Elder County Chief Deputy Dale Ward said Johnston was arrested Thursday on outstanding criminal warrants out of Box Elder Justice Court. The misdemeanor warrants were for drug possession. The Brigham City man was booked into jail.

At the time of booking, jail staff received notification that Johnston was experiencing detox symptoms, withdrawing from controlled substances. He was housed in an observation cell for continuous monitoring by deputies and medical staff.

Ward said, at approximately 11:00 p.m. Saturday, Johnston notified jail staff that he could not urinate and he didn’t feel well. He was checked and after a discussion with medical crews, he was transported to Brigham City Hospital where he was admitted. Around midnight, his condition worsened and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Johnston is the second Box Elder County jail inmate to die in the past six-months. In December, Gary Gomez of Tremonton was pronounced dead after being found lying on the ground. He had suffered a medical episode.

The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office invoked the critical incident protocol after Johnston’s death and the Northern Utah Critical Incident Team was notified. The death investigation is being conducted by the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.

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