Woman Killed In Freak Accident Involving Metal Straw

By Bill Galluccio

July 10, 2019

Ice tea in glass with metal straw

A 60-year-old British woman was killed in a freak accident involving a metal straw. Elena Struthers-Gardner was carrying a glass mason jar with a ten-inch metal straw in the lid when she collapsed in her kitchen. As she fell, the straw pierced her left eye and punctured her brain.

Her wife, Mandy Struthers-Gardner, found her lying on the ground and immediately called an ambulance.

"I went to the kitchen door and could see Lena lying on her front at the doorway between the den and the kitchen," she wrote in a statement. "She was making unusual gurgling sounds. Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact, and the straw was still in the jar. I noticed the straw was sticking into her head. I called 999 and requested an ambulance."

Elena was rushed to the hospital but died from her injuries the next day.

The coroner's office is warning people who use metal straws to be careful because they are rigid and can cause serious injuries.

"Clearly great care should be taken when using these metal straws," Brendan Allen, an assistant coroner for the County of Dorset said. "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 [...] It seems the main problem here is if the lid hadn't been in place the straw would have moved away."

Photo: Getty Images

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