While many on the political left are pushing to eliminate the use of plastic straws, the so-called “eco-friendly” alternative of drinking from a metal straw has claimed the life of a woman in a most horrific manner, piercing her eye and striking her brain.
Elena Struthers-Gardner, 60, a retired jockey from Broadstone, England, was killed at her home during the Nov. 22 accident when she fell.
“She was carrying a mason-jar style drinking glass with a screw-top lid in her kitchen when she collapsed. The 10-inch stainless steel straw entered her left eye socket and pierced her brain,” reported the Daily Echo of Bournemouth.
Her wife of four years, Mandy Struthers-Gardner, told the local coroner:
“I did not hear her fall. I went to the kitchen door and could see Lena lying on her front at the doorway between the den and the kitchen. She was making unusual gurgling sounds. Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar. I noticed the straw was sticking into her head.
Elena Struthers-Gardner, right, and her wife Mandy (Facebook)
“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.”
With the cause of death listed as traumatic brain injury, Brendan Allen, the assistant coroner, said: “Clearly great care should be taken when using these metal straws. There is no give in them at all.”
In America, the tragedy caught the attention of radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday, who stated: “If that babe had been using a plastic drinking straw, she would be alive today. The planet would be imperiled, but she would be alive. Which of the two is the optimum for the environmentalist wackos?”
The Echo noted the victim had mobility difficulties after a riding accident at age 21, and had become dependent on alcohol after reducing her high levels of fentanyl pain medication.
Her wife explained that Elena was prone to falling over and collapsing at random intervals due to severe pain from her accident which caused multiple fractures to her lumbar spine and subsequent scoliosis.
“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,” Mandy Struthers-Gardner said.
“Even if they don’t end a life they can be very dangerous.”
U.S. cities including Seattle and San Francisco have implemented bans on plastic straws, and major companies such as Starbucks, Hyatt and Hilton are reportedly abandoning the plastic.
In a column for WND, award-winning journalist and consumer expert John Stossel warned about the big hand of government banning the use of plastic straws.
“Government’s guiding hand is neither ‘little’ nor ‘gentle.’ Government action is force,” Stossel wrote.
“In this case, the politicians will either ban straws or order us to replace plastic straws with more expensive ones made of paper or bamboo.”