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Type: Journal article
Title: Automobile door entrapment - A different form of vehicle-related crush asphyxia
Author: Byard, R.
Woodford, N.
Citation: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2008; 15(5):339-342
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1752-928X
Statement of
Roger W. Byard, Noel W.F. Woodford
Abstract: Crush asphyxia involving motor vehicles usually occurs when a victim is trapped beneath a vehicle that slips from a jack while being worked on, or beneath a car that has rolled over during a crash. Two cases are reported where crush asphyxia resulted from quite different circumstances. Case 1: A 58-year-old woman was found dead trapped between her car door and frame. As she was alighting from the vehicle it had rolled forward trapping her between the semi-opened door and car frame when the door had wedged against a second parked vehicle. Case 2: A second 58-year-old woman was found dead, also trapped between her car door and frame. She had been leaning out of her car trying to pick up a newspaper when the car rolled forward. The open driver's door wedged against an adjacent pillar trapping her between the door and the frame. Both victims died from crush asphyxia. This form of automobile door entrapment represents a distinct subset of automobile-related asphyxial deaths and illustrates a particular and unusual set of circumstances that may result in unexpected traumatic death. Getting, or leaning, out of a vehicle that does not have the handbrake engaged may result in wedging of the victim between the semi-opened door and car frame if the car rolls forward and the door impacts against a nearby unyielding object. Correlation of the physical dimensions of the door and frame with markings on the victim's body will assist in reconstructing the terminal events.
Keywords: Crush asphyxia; Vehicle door entrapment
RMID: 0020083250
DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2007.08.005
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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