Volume 47, Issue 2 (March 2002)
Bizarre Impalement Fatalities—Where Is the Implement?
Two fatalities due to unusual impalement injuries are reported. (1) A large branch broken off during a storm had entered a passing car and perforated the chest of the driver and the back of the seat. The chest organs were grossly lacerated. The car was subsequently stopped by another tree and this second impact removed the wood from the body. (2) A man suffered anorectal impalement by the leg of a stool turned upside down. He had introduced one stool leg into his anus for sexual stimulation and fell onto it. This resulted in a wound channel 36 cm long including perforation of the rectum, urinary bladder, mesentery, transverse mesocolon and liver. Before autopsy, the mode of death was unclear because the man had removed the stool leg himself, his wife had hidden the stool from the scene, and there were no relevant external injuries. In both cases, a reliable reconstruction required investigation of the scene and consideration of extremely unlikely circumstances or of bizarre human activities.