Former Congressman’s Death Linked to Asphyxiation< < Back to
A forensic pathologist says U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr.'s death appears to be linked to positional asphyxiation – his inability to breathe after a vintage tractor tipped over on him a week ago at his family farm.
Dr. Joseph Ohr of the Mahoning County coroner's office said on Tuesday that an autopsy showed the 73-year-old Traficant did not suffer a heart attack or seizure and that he was told the former congressman had been in good health and spirits before the accident.
Traficant died at a hospice on Saturday after being transferred from a hospital the day before. The autopsy was performed before Traficant's family held a private ceremony Monday morning.
Ohr says he's on "pretty firm ground" with his diagnosis of positional asphyxiation. He says that similar things happen during car accidents. Ohr says Traficant received no crushing injuries.
Traficant was a congressman from Ohio, and served from 1984 to 2002, when he was expelled from Congress after a bribery conviction.
He was only the second House memeber expelled from Congress for unethical conduct since the Civil War.