Death deemed ‘accidental’
The Dorchester County Coroner has released his autopsy report, finding the death of 37-year old Tabetha Grooms, on April 28, to be accidental.
The county Sheriff's Office was investigating her death as a suspicious death.
On April 28, paramedics and deputies were called to her home on West Turner Street in Summerville, where Grooms was found in the bathtub. She was taken to MUSC. According to investigators, she died on May 9.
The incident report states that her husband and children were at the home when deputies and EMS arrived.
According to the report Grooms' husband told deputies that she was drinking heavily and had taken a fall while she was trying to close some bay windows at the home. The husband said he later heard another fall after helping Tabetha Grooms into the bathroom to start a shower.
The coroner’s report lists Anoxic Encephalopathy due to
Blunt Force Injury to Head due to Fall as the cause of death with the manner of death as accidental.
The report further notes other significant conditions related to death as
vaginal lacerations and alcohol use.
“This investigation by my office, and the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office was long and extensive due to the nature of the death and the circumstances involved in the death,” the report states. “The Sheriff's Office has done an excellent job running down all leads and interviewing everyone involved and concurs with my office, that this death is an unfortunate accident.”
According to the report, during the investigation it was proven that the decedent had fallen down on her own, multiple times that same day, and also a few days prior to the date of this incident in Florida, while visiting her 20 year old son when she fell down a flight of marble stairs when no one was present but her son.
The coroner stated “I do believe that the fall in Florida may have caused an unknown injury that then progressively got worse after the fact. Causing instability, mixed with alcohol consumption once returning to Summerville caused her to fall multiple times. At the time of her final fall at her home, her father and minor child where present and her husband was actually in the shower.
“The minor child is the one that actually alerted the husband to the fact that the decedent had fallen and was calling for help. It is unclear to me why medical treatment was not sought immediately, but it was not sought after the fall in Florida either. This may have been the choice of the decedent after falling here, as it was when the fall in Florida occurred.”