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Autopsy obtained for Georgia Dome fatal fall victim

7:17 PM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
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  • Isaac Grubb
    

10News has obtained the autopsy report for a 20-year-old Lenoir City man who died after falling from the upper deck of the Georgia Dome during the Vols' season-opening football game.

Isaac Grubb fell 35 feet from the upper deck of the Georgia Dome during UT's game against N.C. State in Atlanta.  Grubb was a student at Pellissippi State and also worked at a pizza restaurant in Turkey Creek.

Since Grubb's death, several WBIR viewers and Facebook users have contacted 10News asking for updates on the cause of the tragic incident.  The exact reason for how Grubb fell over the railing at the Georgia Dome is still under investigation.  However, the autopsy reveals the exact cause of death.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Center (FCMEC) in Atlanta, Georgia, conducted the autopsy.  It concludes the death was an accident and was caused by blunt head trauma. The report lists a slew of injuries to Grubb's skull following the 35-foot fall.  Grubb also suffered extreme trauma to his torso.  The autopsy report indicated there were no signs of preexisting disease.

The report is also noteworthy for what it did not find.  Specifically, it says a vitreous fluid drug screen results were "negative for drugs of abuse and alcohol."

Drug screening via vitreous fluid means medical examiners extracted fluid from Grubb's eye to screen for the presence of drugs and alcohol.  A negative test result for alcohol conflicts with statements by several witnesses and Georgia officials who indicated Grubb was seen consuming alcohol starting at 5 p.m. outside the Georgia Dome.

Dr. Michele T. Stauffenberg with FCMEC conducted Grubb's autopsy.  When asked about the alcohol test results Monday, Stauffenberg emphasized that the type of screening conducted is the "bare-minimum" and should in no way be considered the definitive test.

"To report the results as something definitive, it is never wise to do that with a screening.  This is not a full toxicology report.  It is one quick way to test for things like alcohol, cocaine, or amphetamine," said Stauffenberg.  "We normally take urine samples for screening and blood samples for the comprehensive toxicology results.  In this case we were unable to obtain urine samples for the victim, so we conducted the screen via vitreous fluid from the eye."

Stauffenberg said blood samples were collected and sent to the State of Georgia Crime Lab for toxicology tests.  It can take up to 120 days for the toxicology results to be returned to the medical examiner.  Stauffenberg reiterated the autopsy should be considered a means to determine the cause of death rather than the exact chemical state of the victim leading up to death.

"It is very possible it [the screen] showed up negative, but the test results did not represent the true alcohol level at the time," said Stauffenberg. "For the purposes of an autopsy, the ultimate determination is that alcohol or no alcohol, he [Grubb] died because he had a head injury from an accidental fall."

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