Lexington County Coroner’s Report shows rise in overdose deaths
Their findings show the different types of patterns presented by the deaths of Lexington County residents throughout the year. According to the report, the county is 699 square miles, which makes it the 17th largest county in the state. The estimated persons per square miles is slightly over 400, which makes it one of the most densely populated counties.
The report lists five categories of deaths. Included are: natural, accidental, homicides, suicides, and undetermined. Of the total 2,134 deaths in 2017 in Lexington County, 1,908 of them (90 percent) were from natural causes. Accidental deaths came in next at 7 percent. There were more suicides than homicides, with 47 people dying of suicide (two percent), and 25 people from homicide (one percent). The cause of death for three was undetermined.
The number one cause of deaths in the county was by heart-related at 552. The second-highest was from cancer/malignant neoplasms with 427. Other high natural death causes included Alzheimer’s/Dementia, respiratory diseases, strokes, liver and kidney related deaths, and influenza/pneumonia.
The accidental death category was broken down into eight sub-categories, however, there are two main types that took the majority of lives. Overdose was the leading cause at 50 deaths (33 percent). According to the report, the oldest was 69 years old and the youngest was 18. The largest drug type presence in accidental overdoses was opioids, at 45 percent. The category was closely followed by motor vehicle collisions, with 47 deaths (31 percent). The oldest person who died in a collision was 90 years old, and the
youngest was 20. The report mentioned that alcohol/drugs was a contributing factor in 26 of the motor vehicle fatalities. The road where the most fatalities occurred was Interstate 20, with 8 deaths.
Homicides were most prevalent in West Columbia, with 8 out of the 25 deaths occurring in that area. A firearm was the most frequent weapon used both in homicidal deaths (16), and suicides (32 out of 47). There were 15 different counts where suicide victims left a letter at the scene.
The cities and towns within Lexington County include Lexington, Batesburg-Leesville, Cayce, Chapin, Gaston, Gilbert, Irmo, Pelion, South Congaree, Swansea, West Columbia, and a portion of Columbia.