Traumatic asphyxial death from two-wheel ‘walking behind’ tractor
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Jatuwit Howannapakorn MD*
*Naresuan University Medical Faculty, Forensic Medicine Department, Thailand Correspondence : Howannapakorn J
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Naresuan University,
Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand. Phone&Fax : 055-965-062. E-mail : email@example.com Received : 5 May 2015; Accepted : 23 June 2015
A 41-year-old man was found suspended 15 cm above the floor, hanging from the long handle-bars of a twowheel ‘walking behind’ tractor. The floor was downward sloping and muddy, which caused the tractor to dig into the floor, raising the long handle bars under the arms of the victim, and pushing him against a pillar. This occurred in the basement of the house. Being crushed in this basement with low ceiling, and between the machine
and the pillar, resulted in compression of the thoraco-abdominal area, causing traumatic asphyxia. Investigation of the scene and analysis of the situation were able to clearly identify the position and location of the injuries found in the victim, and the cause of these injuries. This is a case of fatal thoraco-abdominal compression. The death scene investigation and autopsy findings revealed the cause and manner of death to be accidental traumatic asphyxia. This type of accident is prone to occur in Thailand if there is no prevention because many Thai farmers have this style of house design and always keep their tractors and other farm implements under the basement with low ceiling.