Advertisement

International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 547–551 | Cite as

A moving human body causes fatal blunt trauma: an unusual traffic accident

  • Annette Thierauf-EmbergerEmail author
  • Andreas Lickert
  • Stefan Pollak
Case Report

Abstract

In urban traffic accidents, mainly pedestrians and cyclists are at risk of being injured and killed. Lethal injuries are usually caused by the immediate impact of a car or a tram. This paper presents a fatal accident without any direct contact with a motor vehicle. A 63-year-old woman sitting on a chair in a pavement cafe was killed by the impact of a 60-year-old male cyclist, who was flung in her direction after colliding with a car. Autopsy yielded intracutaneous haemorrhages on the impact sites of the female victim (left cheek, left shoulder and left upper arm). The woman sustained a ring fracture of the skull base encircling the foramen magnum with subtotal severance of the brain stem and massive chest trauma. All the injuries were caused by the blunt impact of the moving human body. The head was forcibly bent towards the contralateral shoulder resulting in a depression fracture of the skull. Reconstruction of the accident at the scene was challenging, as the fatally injured victim remained sitting on the chair and did not show any striking external signs of traumatisation. According to the assessment of the technical expert, the collision velocity of the moving body amounted to 6–8 m/s.

Keywords

Traffic accident Human-human impact Blunt force Craniocerebral trauma 

References

  1. 1.
    Destatis – Statistisches Bundesamt. Homepage, Zahlen & Fakten, Bevölkerung. https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesellschaftStaat/Bevoelkerung/Bevoelkerung.html. Accessed 06 February 2018
  2. 2.
    Destatis – Statistisches Bundesamt. Homepage, Todesursachen, Gestorbene durch Unfälle. https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesellschaftStaat/ Gesundheit/Todesursachen/Tabellen/Sterbefaelle_Unfaelle.html. Accessed 06 February 2018Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    World Health Organization (WHO). Homepage, Deaths due to road traffic injuries. http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.sdg.3-6-map?lang=en. Accessed 06 February 2018
  4. 4.
    Destatis – Statistisches Bundesamt (2016) Unfallentwicklung auf Deutschen Straßen 2015. Begleitmaterial zur Pressekonferenz am 12. Juli 2016 in Berlin/Explanatory notes on accasion of a press conference on 12 July, 2016, pp 7–14Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pircher R, Epting T, Schmidt U, Geisenberger D, Pollak S, Kramer S (2015) Skin blister formation together with patterned intradermal hematoma: a special type of tire mark injury in victims run over by a wheel. Forensic Sci Int 249:42–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bratzke H (2015) Stumpfe Gewalt. In: Madea B (ed) Rechtsmedizin. Befunderhebung, Rekonstruktion, Begutachtung, 3rd edn. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp 210–228Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Salmi LR, Leproust S, Helmer C, Lagarde E (2014) Assessing fitness to drive in the elderly and those with medical conditions: guidelines should specify methods and evidence. Inj Prev 20:210–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Soderstrom CA, Joyce JJ (2008) Medical review of fitness to drive in older drivers: the Maryland experience. Traffic Inj Prev 9:342–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fildes BN (2008) Future directions for older driver research. Traffic Inj Prev 9:387–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Große Perdekamp M, Pollak S, Bohnert M, Thierauf A (2009) External post-mortem examination. Investigation with limited indicative value. Rechtsmedizin 19:413–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Perper JA, Menges DJ (1990) The skin as a repository and masker of evidence. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 11:56–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pollak S, Thierauf A (2014) Blunt force injury. In: Madea B (ed) Handbook of Forensic Medicine. Wiley Blackwell, Chichester, pp 258–282Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Thierauf-Emberger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Lickert
    • 2
  • Stefan Pollak
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineUniversity of Freiburg, Faculty of MedicineFreiburg im BreisgauGermany
  2. 2.Dekra Automobil GmbHFreiburg im BreisgauGermany

Personalised recommendations