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Alcohol poisoning blamed for Orange County jail cell death

Posted October 27, 2010

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— A woman found dead in an Orange County jail cell in May died of acute alcohol poisoning, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.

The state medical examiner said high concentrations of alcohol and antidepressants were found in the blood of Margaret Dale Kersey, who was arrested following a disturbance at her sister’s Chapel Hill home.

Kersey, 58, was intoxicated at the time and had been in a holding cell for approximately 24 minutes while the arresting officer obtained a magistrate's order, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

Jail staff found her unresponsive lying on a mat, and emergency workers reported her airway “completely obstructed” by vomit, the autopsy report stated.

The effects of the antidepressants and the blocked airway might have been contributing factors in her death, the medical examiner said.

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  • TurboRockShow Oct 28, 2010

    "Marijuana is not less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco for a simple fact that is not reported. It burns nine times hotter than tobacco and is smoked without a filter. Hello lung cancer and respiratory problems."

    yachtguychris

    To counter that opinion, cancer patients often consume it in edibles or a tincture which poses no direct heath risk. I have lost someone to cancer whom lived loner because of cannabis due to the fact she was able to eat and did not waste away as quickly.

  • IdoN0TliveinDurham Oct 27, 2010

    "Marijuana is not less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco for a simple fact that is not reported."

    So all the marijuana deaths are just going unreported by the CDC? That doesn't seem very likely. In the meantime, the CDC reports the following number of deaths from the legal and government-approved drugs, tobacco and alcohol:

    •443,000 deaths annually (cigarettes)
    •Number of alcoholic liver disease deaths: 14,406
    •Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 23,199

    The alcohol deaths don't even include those from car accidents.

    There are no reported deaths from marijuana use, so I guess you could say that the CDC is conspiring to keep all the marijuana deaths hidden, but why?

    I think it's because there aren't any.

    if this woman had been stoned, she'd still be alive.

  • ncmickey Oct 27, 2010

    "The effects of the antidepressants and the blocked airway might have been contributing factors in her death, the medical examiner said."............. MIGHT??? I would say a blocked airway WOULD be the COD

  • xsummachicax Oct 27, 2010

    agree with stephruns

  • anne53ozzy Oct 27, 2010

    I am not suggesting that this woman was not responsible in some fashion for what happened to her. However, when someone is put in isolation for any reason and especially if in some way incapacitated, they need to be monitored. It is well known that ingesting too much of anything, including food and over the counter meds or prescription meds, may make you vomit. Just a cautionary observation...One might conceivably fall and suffer an injury that causes vomitting no matter what your sobriety...That is why they tell you or those with you to watch a person in this instance or others.

  • scarletindurham Oct 27, 2010

    she would have died either way, whether the police had been called or not. I seriously doubt anyone at her home would have realized she needed medical attention either. How is this the jail's fault at all?

  • Crankyone Oct 27, 2010

    Marijuana is not less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco for a simple fact that is not reported. It burns nine times hotter than tobacco and is smoked without a filter. Hello lung cancer and respiratory problems.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 27, 2010

    Sorry to hear this but no one at the jail is to blame. She was only left alone for 24 minutes and she died. Sometimes, it is just your time to go. She made a poor decision and it cost her her life. Unfortunate.

  • fishon Oct 27, 2010

    "Ever felt the "high" of helping people, for an example?"

    I don't like people who need my help, I'd rather have another glass of wine.

  • NotAgain Oct 27, 2010

    it's always someone elses fault. not a big fan of the nanny state here.
    IdoN0TliveinDurham

    Lots of folks have problems, you have any friends that prevented you from making a bad decision? Maybe even saved your life? I dont think anyone will be blamed but it is a shame that we do not look at things as a community. Send her to Jail yes, maybe even prison. But try not to let her die before she can get better.

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