A co-owner of a Richland bar died suddenly on Friday while unloading yard waste at the Richland landfill.
Emergency medical personnel were called to the landfill after Travis Summers, 42, collapsed, but he could not be resuscitated, said Roy McLean, Benton County’s chief deputy coroner.
An autopsy was performed Monday. Results were not yet available but McLean said he believes Summers died of natural causes.
Summers was born in Downey, Calif., but had lived in the Tri-Cities since he was about 4.
Summers’ death comes almost a year after he and his partners opened the Gaslight Bar & Grill in central Richland. The restaurant and bar took over the space that was most recently home to Jack-sons Sports Bar.
The Gaslight’s name came from an older establishment that once operated in the same building at Lee Boulevard and George Washington Way.
The bar’s Facebook page showed it was closed Friday night because of a family emergency. Numerous people left comments on that post offering their condolences.
“I'm in shock, truly enjoyed the way Travis took care of my friends and I at the Gaslight,” one commenter said.
McLean said the death hit him particularly hard. Summers was once a student of McLean’s when he was a math and science teacher at Kennewick’s Desert Hills Middle School.
“He was an outstanding young man,” McLean said.
Family and friends have started crowdfunding money to help Summers’ family pay for his funeral expenses. The Travis Summers Memorial Fund had $270 of its $10,000 goal as of Monday evening. It can be found here at bit.ly/TravisSummers.