Hurricane Ian: Florida Medical Examiners Issue Grim Report

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: RICARDO ARDUENGO / Contributor

Following Hurricane Ian’s massive ravaging, Florida’s Medical Examiners’ Commission has released a grim report showing how the storm’s wrath took over 100 lives.

According to the bleak spreadsheet, officials found a 96-year-old Charlotte County man trapped under a car in high water. Currently, he is the oldest victim of Hurricane Ian’s deadly path through the Southwestern part of the state.

As the death toll continues to rise, rescue and recovery efforts continue in regions devastated by the Category 4 storm and the historic flooding it created after it hit land last Wednesday.

The medical examiners’ report gives readers horrific insight into the final moments of the perished lives caught in one of America’s most powerful storms. However, victims are not identified by name in the report.

“The decedent was outside her residence smoking a cigarette when a gust of wind from the hurricane blew her off the porch and she subsequently struck her head on a concrete step,” read the description of how a 71-year-old Florida woman died Thursday.

The report added: “911 was called, but EMS (emergency services) was delayed due to weather.” The largest portion of Hurricane Ian’s fatalities, 45 people, described in the medical examiners’ report was in Lee County.

According to the report, a 54-year-old Lee County man died trying to escape rising flood waters. “The decedent attempted to get out of a window and became trapped,” was how the report said officials found the man on Thursday.

In addition, the report also shows how the mental trauma of the hurricane also took at least one victim.

“Decedent shot himself after seeing property damage due to hurricane,” was the tragic description of a 73-year-old Lee County man who died Friday.

Examiners’ report shows many of Hurricane Ian’s victims were over 65

Rescue crews also found a deceased 96-year-old under a car in Charlotte County. They were among the five Floridians 90 or older who perished in the storm. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the youngest victim was 22-year-old Tyler Watson of Lake Wales, Florida.

Before, Watson was in the passenger seat of a truck that collided with a fallen tree on Saturday morning. Additionally, 38 of the deceased were aged 65 or older. The report also revealed how quickly the storm could turn fatal.

“Decedent was crushed by sliding glass door and pool cage,” was how a 65-year-old man was found Friday. In addition, the storm sadly became too much to bear for those with health problems.

A 70-year-old woman with high blood pressure, also recovering from a stroke, was “found in flood waters up to chest.” Her death was attributed to “delayed medical access due to hurricane.”

An 89-year-old man who also died in Lee County was described as “oxygen dependent.” “Lost power and had generator failure,” the report concluded. “Decedent unable to use required equipment.”