British Woman Dies After Metal Drinking Straw Impales Her Through Eye
A 60-year-old woman died in Bournemouth, England, when she fell on a metal drinking straw, impaling her eye and brain, USA Today reported Tuesday.
Elena Struthers-Gardner, a retired jockey, collapsed while walking through her kitchen with a drink in hand. During the fall, the 10-inch stainless-steel straw entered her left eye socket and punctured her brain, according to USA Today.
It was unclear what caused the fall; officials said a urine sample showed no traces of alcohol, The Telegraph reported.
The fatal incident took place on Nov. 22, 2018, but the coroner’s office released new information about the case on Monday.
A coroner said the victim was discovered on the floor by Mandy Struthers-Gardner, her wife of four years. She told them it wasn’t until she turned her spouse over that she discovered what had happened.
“She was making unusual gurgling sounds,” Mandy said, according to a coroner’s report obtained by USA Today. “Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar.”
The cause of death was a traumatic brain injury, The Telegraph reported.
The coroner warned on Monday that reusable, eco-friendly metal straws should be used with “great care” and never in a way that fixes them in place, according to the British newspaper.
“There is no give in them at all. If someone does fall on one and it’s pointed in the wrong direction, serious injury can occur,” said assistant coroner Brendan Allen.
Added the victim’s brother: “These straws can very easily be lethal.”