March 12, 2012
STANDING HEARING SET FOR INQUEST INTO DEATH OF ANN HICKEY
A date has been set for a hearing to determine who can participate at an upcoming inquest into the death of 51-year-old Ann Hickey.
Hickey, a long-time resident of the Manitoba Developmental Centre in Portage la Prairie, was found unconscious in her wheelchair with the chair’s seatbelt across her neck on March 25, 2011. She was taken to hospital but despite medical intervention died on March 29, 2011.
An autopsy determined that her death was accidental and was caused by bronchopneumonia that resulted from the pressure the wheelchair’s restraining belt had put on her neck.
Under the Fatality Inquiries Act, inquests are mandatory for some deaths in developmental centres including this one. Inquests explore the circumstances and events leading to deaths to determine what, if anything, could be done to help prevent similar deaths from occurring in the future.
Before an inquest can begin, the judge decides who can question and call witnesses by having standing at the inquest. People who want to have standing should contact the Crown and attend the hearing on that issue set for:
1 p.m., March 22
Courtroom 407, Law Courts complex
408 York Ave., Winnipeg.
Dates for the actual inquest will be set following this hearing.
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Those interested in applying for standing should contact Crown attorney Carli Owens, 204-239-3343.