Woman Pierces Eye With Metal Drinking Straw In Accident, Dies

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: July 15, 2019

Public concern over the sheer volume of plastic in our oceans and environment has led to a grassroots movement where people give up plastic straws. In their place, consumers are opting to use metal straws instead that can be reused indefinitely.

Fox 10 in Phoenix recently reported that something as simple as a drinking straw doesn’t come without risks. Elena Struthers-Gardner,60, a retired jockey from Dorset, England, accidentally pierced her left eye with a 10-inch metal drinking straw, causing it to impale her brain in November of 2018.

She was found by her wife, Mandy, collapsed in a doorway between the kitchen and living room. The glass jar she had been holding and the straw were still intact beside Struthers-Gardiner’s body. She was transported to a local hospital, but doctors said that the woman’s injuries were too severe. She was taken off of life support and later died.

The coroner who investigated the circumstances surrounding Struthers Gardner’s death has ruled it an accident. The 60-year-old retired as a jockey after an accident left her with multiple spinal fractures, which led to scoliosis and severe mobility issues. These issues left Struthers-Gardner prone to falls.

The glass jar had a lid that held the straw into place. The coroner warns the public to be careful when using metal drinking straws.

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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