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Ohio woman died after falling into green bin

A 62-year-old woman died after falling into a 240-litre bin in a way that left her unable to breathe. She lay there for hours.
Aug 9th 2011, 5:08 PM 763 8

AN OHIO WOMAN died after falling face-first into a giant green bin, and wasn’t found until her husband arrived home from work hours later, a coroner has found.

Sheila Decoster, 62, was probably inside the bin for several hours before she was found last Friday, Lucas County deputy coroner Diane Barnett said. The woman’s husband saw her legs sticking out of the 240-litre (64 gallons) container that sits on their porch.

“I just happened to look to the left and, honestly, thought it was a dummy,” Richard Decoster told The Blade newspaper of Toledo. “I shook her leg and called her name, and I knew she was gone.”

The couple, who had been married for 43 years, kept their recycling and trash bins next to their porch, which does not have a railing. Investigators said it looked like Mrs Decoster was standing on her porch when she leaned over, lifted the lid on the bin and fell inside.

Decoster died from positional asphyxia, indicating that she had fallen in a way which left her unable to breathe.

Her husband said she had several medical issues, including dizzy spells and an aneurism on her brain, which could explain why she fell. She also had back problems and a recent knee-replacement surgery.

There were many complaints about the large recycling bins when they were distributed two years ago. Residents said they were too big and difficult to move, especially for older and disabled people.

“It’s tragic, but I think it’s definitely an extreme example,” said city spokeswoman Jen Sorgenfrei.

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Associated Press


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