July 9, 2019
July 9, 2019 4:35 PM EDT
Former jockey Elena Struthers-Gardner suffered horrific injuries after the 10-inch stainless steel straw entered her left eye socket and pierced her brain.SCREENGRAB
For a British jockey, the finish line didn’t come with a dozen roses.
Instead, Elena Struthers-Gardner’s illustrious finish was adorned with a deadly eco-friendly metal drinking straw through her brain.
Struthers-Gardner was killed when she tripped and impaled herself on the straw which went through her left eye socket and pierced her brain.
The jockey, 60, who was retired from the track, was carrying a mason-jar with a screw-top lid in her kitchen when she collapsed.
Her wife, Mandy, told an inquest she discovered Struthers-Gardner lying on the ground making “unusual gurgling sounds”.
“Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar,” Mandy told the inquest.
“I noticed the straw was sticking into her head. I called 999 and requested an ambulance. While I was on the phone, Lena appeared to have stopped breathing. The lady on the phone asked me to turn her over.”
“I slid the glass off the straw and turned her over. I could see the straw had gone through her left eye.”
Her family ultimately decided to take her off life support because it was “unlikely she would survive.”
But the former jockey’s life had recently taken a dark turn as her boozing accelerated with screwdrivers being her favourite.
On the day she died, there was no booze in her system.
“I just feel that in the hands of mobility challenged people like Elena, or children, or even able-bodied people losing their footing, these [straws] are so long and very strong,” her wife testified at the inquest.
“Even if they don’t end a life they can be very dangerous.”