Last year, 865 people died in Franklin County, requiring 99 physical exams and six toxicology tests to determine cause of death. 

Of those deaths, 729 were classified as natural causes.

This death information was released Tuesday as part of the Franklin County medical examiner’s 2018 annual report.

The report shows 77 deaths last year were accidental, 26 were the result of a motor vehicle accident, 23 suicides, six homicides and in four of the deaths the cause was undetermined.

The total number of deaths in 2018 was 110 more than 2017 when 755 were reported by the medical examiner.

Overall, there have been 7,409 deaths in Franklin County from 2009 to 2018.

Vehicle Accidents

In 10 of the 26 deaths related to a motor vehicle, alcohol played a role, and directly contributed to the deaths in eight cases, according to the report.

Eight of the crashes involved a collision with another motor vehicle, five were the result of a collision with a fixed object and two were riders of motorcycles.

In three of the accidents, the vehicle went off the roadway. There was one death caused by a fire and one pedestrian was struck by a vehicle.

Twenty-two of the deaths were male and four were females, and the age range of the deceased was 16 to 79.

Other Accidents

Falls and use of drugs make up 69 of the 77 accidental deaths reported by the medical examiner for 2018.

According to the report, 33 people died as a result of a fall, including one from a fall from an unspecified height, and 32 were related to drug use.

Three of the drug-related cases also involved alcohol and one was from the use of medicines.

There were an additional six deaths from causes including submersion in water, electrocution and age-related disease.

The age range for these accidental deaths was from age 1 to about 90.

One accidental death is classified as rebreathing microenvironment.

Medical examiner Kathleen Hargrave explained this involves a person rebreathing their own exhaled air in a close environment, depleting fresh oxygen, which is a preventable death.

She added the biggest message is that a microenvironment of rebreathing is an unsafe sleeping environment for babies.  

Babies should sleep alone, be placed on their backs in a safe crib.


The medical examiner’s report shows 23 suicides in Franklin County in 2018 and seven involved alcohol.

Of those, 16 were from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, three were the result of a hanging and three involved the use of drugs or medications.

The other suicide was classified as carbon monoxide inhalation.

The age range was 16 to 89 years old.

There have been 217 suicides reported in Franklin County in the last decade, with an average of about 22 per year.


The medical examiner reported six homicides in Franklin County in 2018, which is down by one from 2017.

Overall, there have been 38 homicides in the county since 2009 with the high mark being 2017 with seven. There were none in 2010.

Last year, two of the homicides were the result of a gunshot wound at the hands of another and one was a shotgun wound.

The other three homicides were caused by blunt trauma, stab wounds and rebreathing microenvironment.     

The rebreathing, or suffocation homicide, involved a child near age 1. 

Of those killed, five were men and one was female.

Undetermined Causes

The causes of four deaths in 2018 were classified as undetermined.

One involved a fall, another a fall from a height and the report states a third person precipitated themselves (jumped) from a height.

Of the more than 7,400 deaths in Franklin County in the last decade, the cause of death in only 39 cases has been undetermined.