The former administrator of the city of Vernon who was under investigation regarding the city's financial irregularities accidentally drowned at Angel Island last month, according to the Marin County coroner's office.
Eric Fresch, 58, of Tiburon, slipped and hit his head on a rock while taking photos on the island June 29, coroner's Sgt. Keith Boyd said.
The blunt force trauma to Fresch's head from the ground-level fall caused cervical vertebrae fractures that resulted in the accidental drowning, Boyd said.
Fresch's camera containing scenic photos was found 50-60 feet from his body, Boyd said. There were no drugs or alcohol in his system and there is no evidence Fresch committed suicide or was murdered, Boyd said.
An autopsy also showed no signs of a heart attack, stroke or other medical emergency, Boyd said.
Video showed Fresch leaving the ferry to Angel Island with his bicycle.
"No one followed him," Boyd said.
Fresch had limited use of his left arm because of a childhood injury that would have limited his ability to brace himself during a fall, Boyd said.
The rocky shore where Fresch's body was found was slick from water and moss, and Fresch likely lost his balance, Boyd said.
Fresch's wife called 911 when he did not show up for a pre-arranged appointment. His body was found around 6 p.m.
Fresch's death came just as the California State Auditor released a report about its investigation into the financial practices of the Los Angeles County city.
Fresch was the city's administrator between 2006 and 2009.
Bay City News Service