Alcohol use, a blood condition and a forceful fall on concrete are all believed to be the big factors in a Pauls Valley woman’s recent death which authorities have ruled as accidental.
The ruling was finalized earlier this week in the death of Anneliese Eckhardt, 49, who was injured nearly two weeks ago after she fell in a business parking lot on West Grant Avenue.
Eckhardt was pronounced dead on July 2 leading to a detailed investigation by Pauls Valley police and others into what exactly caused her death.
“At first we didn’t know the actual cause of her death,” said Derrick Jolley, assistant police chief in Pauls Valley.
“She was intoxicated, stumbled back and hit the back of her head,” he said.
“It was determined that initial fall to the back of her head is ultimately what caused her death.”
A police report shows officers were first contacted during the early morning hours of Saturday, June 30 on the report of a woman who was passed out and possibly intoxicated.
Moments later the woman was identified as Eckhardt. She was found lying on her stomach with her face down in the gravel of a motel parking lot.
Officers reported seeing a large amount of blood on her face and a wound on her forehead as paramedics were immediately called to the scene.
Jolley said the woman was able to speak and initially told officers she had been assaulted. That claim was later checked out and proved to be false.
It was later learned Eckhardt had earlier that evening consumed a number of alcoholic drinks at a nearby bar before she and a man described as her boyfriend left.
According to police, the two were walking in a parking lot when Eckhardt fell to the ground. At some point she got up but fell again, this time down an embankment as an employee of a nearby restaurant contacted authorities.
Eckhardt, who was described as having a very high level of alcohol in her blood, plus a number of medical conditions, was airlifted a short time later to an Oklahoma City hospital.
She lapsed into a coma just hours later before passing way the following Monday.
Jolley said he and others on the local police force then spent the next several days working with state agents and the state medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death.
The conclusion was Eckhardt’s first fall, injuring the back of her head, is likely the incident that led her death.