Man died after being impaled on gate as he took a shortcut home, inquest hears
A 31 year old man died after he was impaled on a metal gate as he took a shortcut home.
Michael Burke, of Carysfort Villas in Dalkey, Co Dublin was walking home alone after visiting a friend when the accident happened on January 12 2018.
The man, who was due to start a new job the following Monday, was taking a shortcut through a car park at the Club bar and restaurant in Dalkey when the accident happened.
He crossed the car park before climbing over a gate at a private pedestrian entrance to a house at 1.43am. He suffered a fatal penetrating wound as he climbed over the 1.3m gate with railings at Ashley House, Convent Road, Dalkey, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.
The man was found by a passing motorist shortly after 8am the following morning.
Patricia Corcoran was travelling to work when she spotted the man slumped on the ground by a speed bump.
She dialled 999. A passing cyclist stopped and began chest compressions but Mr Burke remained unresponsive.
During cardio pulmonary resuscitation, they noticed the man had a small puncture wound just below his navel with a trickle of blood.
Garda Sean White of Dun Laoghaire Garda Station arrived at the scene at 8.33am. He noted the wound and said the man was lying six feet away from the gate, which was closed.
“It was a black gate with spikes on the top, there was a trickle of blood on one of the spikes,” Garda White said.
Blood samples were taken from the spike on the gate and test results later confirmed they matched Mr Burke.
Dr Jane Moloney arrived at the scene shortly after 10am and Mr Burke was pronounced dead at 10.15am. He was transferred to the city morgue for a post-mortem examination.
The autopsy was performed by Dr Marie Cassidy who found he had suffered a perforating injury to his abdomen with a small external wound. The injury continued through the abdomen and into the aorta, the inquest heard. The injury was fully consistent with a fall on spiked railings, according to the pathologist.
Dr Cassidy gave the cause of death as a penetrating wound to the abdomen due to impaling on a gate spike. A toxicology report found the man had traces of morphine and Xanax in his system but not at high levels. The coroner noted that these can affect coordination.
“It would appear it was just a completely unanticipated slip in a very dangerous position where the spike on the gate he was attempting to cross, caught him,” Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said, returning a verdict of misadventure.