We describe a case of complete decapitation following a motorcycle accident in which the victim was wearing a full face helmet. A young man lost control of his motorcycle and was thrown about 20 m, hitting his head against the barrier separating a tramline from the road. The resulting trauma caused his decapitation, the only fatal wound ascertained by the various forensic investigations. The authors present this rare case and compare it against the other two cases reported in the literature, providing some observations on the ways in which this injury can come about. The absence of abrasions or signs that the wound edges came into contact with a metal structure, the presence of signs of impact on the side of the helmet and the finding of a transversal fracture at the base of the skull point to the violent action of a side-to-side opposite force, due to the resistance provided by the lower edge of the protective helmet.

Death by complete decapitation of motorcyclist wearing full face helmet: case report / R. Zoia, G. Gentile, G.F. Giovanetti, E. Palazzo. - In: FORENSIC SCIENCE INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0379-0738. - 207:1-3(2011 Apr 15), pp. e48-e50. [10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.12.010]

Death by complete decapitation of motorcyclist wearing full face helmet: case report

R. Zoia;G. Gentile;E. Palazzo
2011-04-15

Abstract

We describe a case of complete decapitation following a motorcycle accident in which the victim was wearing a full face helmet. A young man lost control of his motorcycle and was thrown about 20 m, hitting his head against the barrier separating a tramline from the road. The resulting trauma caused his decapitation, the only fatal wound ascertained by the various forensic investigations. The authors present this rare case and compare it against the other two cases reported in the literature, providing some observations on the ways in which this injury can come about. The absence of abrasions or signs that the wound edges came into contact with a metal structure, the presence of signs of impact on the side of the helmet and the finding of a transversal fracture at the base of the skull point to the violent action of a side-to-side opposite force, due to the resistance provided by the lower edge of the protective helmet.
Decapitation; Helmet; Motorcycle injury; Spinal cord
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/158914
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