Trouble With Breathing Tube Contributed To Cyclist’s Death, Report States

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EUREKA SPRINGS (KFSM) – The cyclist killed Saturday (July 19) while preparing for a Eureka Springs bike race died of esophageal intubation with complicating neck and face trauma, according to a state medical examiner’s report.

Laura Wooldridge, 39, crashed her mountain bike while cycling the trails at the Fat Tire Festival, officials said. Emergency crews were called to the scene, and Wooldridge later died, authorities said.

Wooldridge’s thyroid and larynx were crushed, requiring responding medical crews to place a breathing tube in her neck instead of through the mouth, officials said.

Because medical personnel placed the tube above the crushed thyroid, the tube went down the esophogus, officials said.

The preliminary report was filed Monday (July 21) by Dr. Stephen Erickson.

Wooldridge, of Little Rock, emerged from the woods after her wreck near Lake Leatherwood covered in blood, said bystander Jared Joseph. Joseph said he saw her walk out of a trail carrying her bicycle after the crash.

She was walking and talking without much difficulty, and she was bleeding profusely from her lip and chin area, Joseph said.




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