A 31-year-old transport officer who was accompanying a prisoner to Globe Sunday died on the way, according to Gila County deputies.
Christopher Jackson, a resident of Carbonville, Ill., was employed by Transcor, a prisoner-transport company headquartered in Nashville. He and three other detention officers were traveling in a commercial-sized bus, which carries prisoners across the U.S.
Early Sunday morning, the passengers told investigators, they thought Jackson was sleeping as the bus headed toward Globe on Highway 60. But when the vehicle reached the bottom of Salt River Canyon, Jackson slipped from his seat to the floor.
At 4:40 a.m., county deputies reached the bus at mile marker 256. Jackson was later pronounced dead at the scene by Canyon Fire Department personnel.
"We're still waiting for the results of the autopsy to determine the cause of death and the circumstances surrounding it," said Sgt. Tom Rasmussen of the Gila County Sheriff's Department. "We're also waiting for some blood work to be done."
The autopsy is being performed at Pima Medical Examiners in Globe.