Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 > Vehicle-Assisted Decapitation: A Case Report
American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181e5e113
Case Reports

Vehicle-Assisted Decapitation: A Case Report

Hejna, Petr MD, PhD*; Havel, Radovan MD

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Abstract: A rare case of vehicle-assisted suicide in a 40-year-old man is presented. The victim had tied a rope between his neck and a tree and then attempted to drive the vehicle away while seated in the driver’s seat. The acceleration of the vehicle resulted in complete decapitation. Injuries to the organs of the man’s neck bore vital signs. This, together with blood aspiration into his airways, confirmed that the victim’s injuries took place when vital functions of his organism were still preserved. The degree of cervical trauma found in this case was far greater than that in characteristic ligature strangulation or hanging, except in cases where the body has fallen some distance.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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