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Ex-Marine who survived Iraq bombing died of drugs

Published: Saturday, May 4, 2013 11:36 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, May 4, 2013 11:43 a.m. CDT

PEORIA (AP) — A coroner's inquest has determined that a former Marine from Illinois who survived a suicide bombing in Iraq died of a combination of heroin and alcohol.

Tyler Ziegel died Dec. 26 after a fall. But Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said Saturday it was the combination of drugs in his system and not the fall that killed him.

Ziegel, of Metamora, was badly disfigured in 2004 bomb attack in which he suffered severe burns to his face and body. He endured dozens of surgeries.

A photo of him standing in uniform two years later next to his fiancée before their wedding won a World Press Photo award and is considered one of the most striking images to emerge from the war.

The coroner's jury ruled Ziegel's death was accidental.

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