Death investigation into Sparta area man that collapsed in Effingham ER

Death investigation into Sparta area man that collapsed in Effingham ER

EFFINGHAM, IL — An investigation is underway into the death of a man who collapsed in an area Emergency Room Wednesday morning.

The Effingham County Coroner’s Office was notified by HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham of a death in the emergency room at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday. The Coroner’s Office responded and found an unidentified white male dead in ER. The man had no identification with him. Initial reports indicated the man had been involved in a car crash in Farina and was transported to St. Anthony’s.

With the assistance of Farina police and the Fayette County Coroner’s Office it was determined the man was 46-year-old Patrick Lawless who was from Sparta but had recently been living with various friends in the Effingham area. Preliminary investigation revealed Lawless did not suffer any injuries in the car crash that would have resulted in his death. After the crash, Lawless walked a short distance to a friend’s house where he collapsed. His friend phoned 911. Lawless’ family in the Metro East area was contacted and provided what Effingham County Coroner Kim Rhodes termed “crucial medical and background information” to assist in the death investigation. Medical records were requested from Lawless’ primary physician. Toxicology samples and X-rays were obtained by the Coroner’s Office. Toxicology results are expected in about two to three weeks.

The investigation continues by the Farina Police Department and the Fayette County and Effingham County Coroner’s Offices.

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