Mariya Vandivort, Realtor in Champaign Urbana, Illinois

Coroner's Jury Duty: Cases 7, 8 and 9

In May 2005, I served on a Coroner's Jury. Details about the cases are given below and the main page describes more about the coroner's jury process.

Case 7:

The responding trooper was the witness in this case.

A 36 year old female was pronounced dead at 4pm at Carle hospital. Cause of death was a closed head injury. Two days earlier, around 1pm, she had been traveling west on I-74 leaving Champaign. She was swerving erratically, and when she crossed the I-57 overpass, she was traveling approximately 80 miles per hour. Shortly after that, she was in the left hand lane, swerved across the right hand lane, across the shoulder and into the grass. She then swerved back across the highway towards the median where she rolled the car three times. The deceased was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown about 20-25 feet out of the vehicle. Conditions that day were clear and dry. Legal blood alcohol limits in Illinois are 0.08%. Her BAC was 0.42%.

We retired to our deliberation room and though it was obvious she was acting stupidly, there was no reason to think that this particular death was deliberate.

Manner of death: ACCIDENT

Case 8:

The officiating coroner was the witness.

An 84 year old female was pronounced dead at her residence at around 4:30pm due to respiratory and heart failure. The hospice nurse had called in the death. The deceased suffered from scoliosis, osteoporosis, and pulmonary problems. Approximately six weeks earlier the deceased had fell. She had pressed her Health Watch button and her daughter was notified. She had broke her sternum, shoulder bone, and another bone in that region. On April 11, she was put into hospice for: debility: unspecified.

We retired to our deliberation room and had no reason to assume deliberation on anyone's part.

Manner of death: ACCIDENT

Case 9:

Family members were present for this case and the officiating coroner was the witness.

An 85 year old female was prounced dead at around 4 pm from an inter cranial hemmorage from a closed head injury. The deceased had been living in an assisted living facility. At 5:30 in the morning a resident assistant had woke her and everything appeared normal. The deceased had been asleep in her bed. At approximately 6:35am the deceased's private care giver arrived and everything appeared normal upon first entry to the residence. The deceased was lying in bed and was non responsive. There was a small amount of blood on the left side of the neck, and a laceration about half an inch long. There was blood on the pillow as well.

Her walker was in the bathroom. Normally, she would have taken her shower in the evening, but on this day, she had a doctor's appointment and was going to take her shower in the morning. To protect her hair from getting wet, she wore a shower cap. The shower cap was found in the sink in the bathroom with a small amount of blood on the back of it. The shower floor was dry and there was no evidence that she had actually had a shower. There was also a small amount of blood that was found on the bottom rim of the sink. Her blood sugar was at about 273, where normal is 80-120. She was also on medication that acted as a blood thinner.

We retired to our deliberation room and had no reason to assume deliberation on anyone's part.

Manner of death: ACCIDENT


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