British Columbia

Vancouver sports writer Jason Botchford died of accidental overdose: coroner's report

Jason Botchford, a well-known hockey writer and broadcaster from Vancouver, died last year of an accidental drug overdose, a coroner's investigation has found.

Botchford, 48, is survived by his wife and 3 children

Jason Botchford, 48, died on April 25, 2019. A coroner's report has confirmed the cause of death was an accidental overdose of cocaine and fentanyl. (@botchford/twitter.com)

The B.C. Coroners Service has found Jason Botchford, a well-known hockey writer and broadcaster from Vancouver, died last year from an accidental drug overdose.

A coroner's report said Botchford, 48, died after overdosing on cocaine and fentanyl on April 25, 2019. His death has been formally classified as an accident.

Botchford's father, John Lott, posted a statement from Botchford's wife on Twitter on Friday.

"We were completely shocked and in disbelief to discover the cause of Jason's sudden death. The cause does not change who Jason was to all of us but just makes his death that much harder to comprehend. We are still grieving," wrote Kathryn Botchford.

The report said Botchford was declared dead after he was found unresponsive in the bedroom of a Maple Ridge, B.C., home. At the time, the cause of death was suspected to be apparent heart failure.

Botchford is survived by his wife and three children.

"We are grateful for the outpouring of support that followed Jason's death," Kathryn Botchford wrote Friday. "Today, the privacy of our family, primarily the children, remains our principal concern."

Botchford covered the NHL for more than a decade before his death. He wrote for The Province newspaper from 2005 to 2018 and often appeared on TSN radio and television.  

While at The Province, Botchford wrote the Provies column — blending Canucks game analysis with funny editorial, Twitter commentary and inside jokes.

Botchford left The Province in September 2018 after a contract issue. He moved to The Athletic, an online sports website, and became a senior writer. His column was renamed The Athletties.

Colleagues across the city called his death a "profound loss." The Vancouver Canucks said everyone at the organization was "deeply saddened" by the news. 

"Jason was an incredibly passionate and dedicated reporter who connected with Canucks fans everywhere. His loss is heart-breaking for us all. The Botchford family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," read a statement from the team.

Botchford grew up in Aurora, Ont., and started his journalism career at the Toronto Sun.

With files from Karin Larsen

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