Blood clot from wreck killed deputy, autopsy finds

Published 12:04 pm Thursday, July 22, 2010

Results of an autopsy show Warren County Deputy Sheriff David Lambert died of a blood clot that moved to his lungs — a direct result of injuries he sustained in a car wreck four weeks ago.

Physicians who performed the examination called it “pulmonary thromboemboli from complications of blunt force injury,” said Coroner Doug Huskey.

Lambert, who was driving north on U.S. 61 around 3:45 a.m. on June 24, was believed to be responding to a call. Officials thought he might have swerved to avoid a vehicle coming out of Oak Ridge Road, causing him to lose control of his cruiser, but a Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol official said Wednesday that can’t be proved.

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Aside from tire marks found on Oak Ridge Road near the site of the wreck, no evidence has been found to indicate that a second vehicle was involved, said John Kalahar, spokesman for MHSP.

An accident reconstructionist said the marks could have been made at the time of the wreck or at some point before, Kalahar said. “He may have tried to avoid a vehicle pulling out of Oak Ridge Road,” but that can’t be known for sure, he said. “At this time the investigation into the accident has been wrapped up.”

Lambert, who was 38, died Tuesday at Promise Speciality Hospital on North Frontage Road. He had a number of risk factors for the blood-clot complication, Huskey said, including pelvic and rib fractures and prolonged confinement to bed.

Following the wreck, in which he also sustained head injuries, a broken shoulder and crushed hip, the deputy had spent just over three weeks at University Medical Center in Jackson. He was transferred Saturday to Promise, where family and friends were encouraged by what appeared to be steps toward recovery.

Annette Lambert, his wife, said he was conscious, making eye contact with visitors and medical staff and starting to communicate with her and others.

Doctors worked for 45 minutes to revive Lambert, his wife said, but he never regained consciousness or resumed a pulse. He was pronounced dead at 4:05. Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home will conduct services Friday in Jackson.

The intersection at U.S. 61 North and Oak Ridge Road, which was formerly called Bowie Road in that area, has been the scene of a number of wrecks. A 19-year-old Florence student, Savanah Mignon Belgard, was killed there on May 31, 2006.