Cleavenger made his report to the Marshall County Commissioners on Monday and it gave evidence that his office was busy one in the past year. Quoting from statistics provided by the Indiana Coroner’s Association a county the size of Marshall County – around 50,000 population – has approximately 500 deaths on the average each year. Of those 12 percent are of a nature that they require the services of the coroner. While Marshall County had only 372 deaths this past year, 102 of them required involvement of the coroner’s office.
Of those 102, Cleavenger’s office was able to determine that 82 occurred from natural causes.
Cleavenger showed the board another alarming statistic. The county had 10 deaths with drug overdose as the determined cause – doubled from 5 the year before – and the county has already had four deaths due to overdose in this year.
“It has more to do with people and their impulse control than with any other cause,” said Cleavenger. “Almost all of those deaths are from prescription drugs or mixing drugs with alcohol – that sort of thing.”
Cleavenger said that the average age of the persons who died by overdose was 34. He also stated that there were seven suicides in Marshall County last year up slightly from the year before.
One bit of good news is that Marshall County had just two fatalities from traffic accidents last year.
Rusty Nixon Correspondent