Coroner Duane Northrup announced yesterday that the cause of Jay Bennett's death was an overdose of the pain killer fentanyl, according to the Chicago Sun Times
. Northrup is the coroner for Champaign County, Ill., where Bennett died in his home in the city of Urbana on May 24. Authorities say that they believe his death was accidental.
Fentanyl is a drug commonly found in patches used to treat chronic pain. Bennett was recovering from a hip injury at the time of his death and had reported intense hip pain in a blog post on his MySpace a few weeks earlier. In the same post, Bennett wrote that he was speaking from "an overall feeling of
positive energy, gained from knowing that I am now moving in the right
In addition to his multi-instrumental contribution to Wilco from 1996-2001, Bennett released a collaborative effort with Edward Burch that preceded his four solo studio albums. Before he passed, he was finishing up a fifth album and working on a handful of other projects.
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