Updated Wed, Jul 24, 2013 12:04 pm
Jackson County Coroner Gregory Hawker has now received the autopsy results for Ryan N. Potter, and the results were somewhat unexpected.
Hawker said the autopsy showed that Potter died of a ruptured aorta that was in no way connected to the electrical shock he received at the fairgrounds Friday evening.
Potter, 38, of Oak Hill was cooking in the Cattlemen's booth Friday evening, July 19, when he reportedly stepped on some water soaked electrical wires or cables, and received two or three jolts of electricity. Although conscious and talking, he complained of some numbness in one leg and arm, and his chest area. He was taken by family members to Holzer and then on to Cabell Huntington Hospital where he passed away Saturday evening at approximately 10:40 p.m.
Because of the shocks he incurred prior to his admission to the hospital, and the fact that Potter passed away in a West Virginia hospital, the West Virginia Medical Examiners office ruled Potter's death as "complications of electrocution".
Hawker was not content with that explanation and indicated that was the reason he sent Potter to Franklin County to be autopsied in the first place, and sure enough, "That wasn't the case at all," Hawker said. "That ruling from the State Medical Examiner was totally incorrect."
Hawker went on to say that the autopsy showed Potter had an enlarged aorta and that when it ruptured there wasn't much that could be done, as the tear was severe enough to even damage a small portion of Potter's heart.
While his family and friends are grieving for his loss, at least they now know the exact cause of his death and no longer have to speculate as to what happened to him.