Woman Dies After Metal Straw Impales Her Eye and Brain in Freak Accident

Coroners are urging the public to be careful when using metal straws.
Coroners are urging the public to be careful when using metal straws. (Getty)

Metal straws might be touted as the big savior of the sea turtles, but one English woman’s encounter with the eco-friendly alternative turned deadly.

Elena Struthers-Gardner, 60, died in a freak accident last November after falling in her Dorset home while holding a mason jar-style drinking glass with a screw-top lid, according to a recent inquiry. Struthers-Gardner used the cup often.

Officials said the 10-inch metal straw she used with the cup pierced through her left eye socket and into her brain, causing her to die of a traumatic brain injury, according to The Sun.

“There is no 'give' in them at all," assistant coroner Brendan Allen said. "If someone does fall on one and it’s pointed in the wrong direction, serious injury can occur."

Officials are now warning that metal straws should never be used with a lid that fixes them into place.

“Her glass cup was lying on the floor still in tact and the straw was still in the jar,” her wife, Mandy, said in the official hearing. “I could see the straw had gone through her left eye.”

Struthers-Gardner was rushed to the hospital but died of her injuries shortly after.

She reportedly also had mobility issues after a horse riding accident at 21 and was prone to falling over at random. 

"I just feel that in the hands of mobility-challenged people like Elena, or children, or even able-bodied people losing their footing, these [straws] are so long and very strong,” Mandy said. “I miss her very much, she was taken far too early. I hope this never happens to anyone else."


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