Sunday, August 15, 2010

Coroner report shows no homicides in 2009

August 15, 2010 - By TOM GIAMBRONI (
LISBON - There were no homicides in Columbiana County last year, the first time this has occurred since 1991, according to the county coroner's annual report.
This comes after six homicides occurred in 2008, which was the highest since five such deaths were recorded in 1995. The record for most homicides in a year over the past 50 years is 10 in 1979.
"Count our blessings," wrote county Coroner Dr. William Graham about the dearth of homicides last year.
In other developments, the number of drug-and-alcohol related deaths in the county declined from a record 69 in 2008 to 67 last year, marking the first drop in such deaths since 2002. The number of drug/alcohol related deaths had been steadily increasing over the past six years, and nearly doubled from 37 in 2007 to 69 the next year.
According to the coroner's report, the majority of the drug/alcohol deaths were concentrated in three communities - East Liverpool (12), Salem (14) and Wellsville (eight) - accounting for 34 of the 67 such cases. Thirty-four of the deaths occurred in people over the age of 50, with men out-numbering women 46 to 21.
The five most prominent drugs found in the deceased, in order of prevalence, were marijuana, alcohol, morphine, Hydrocondone (Vicodin) and cocaine.
Suicides also declined to 12 in 2009 after reaching 21 in 2008, which was the most since 1989, when Graham began compiling statistics. There were 32 accidental deaths last year, up from 30 in 2008, with drug overdoses and traffic accidents accounting for 24 of the deaths.
There were 987 deaths in the county last year, down from 1,132 in 2008, and of those deaths, 98 were investigated by the coroner's office. The most common cause of these 98 deaths was found to be natural causes (34). The following were the other causes of death: accidental, 34; suicide, 12; and undetermined, 8.

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