In Anderson County man is dead in what the coroner calls a freak accident, plunging a steak knife into his own heart, while cooking for his children. Anderson County Deputy Coroner Charlie Bozeman says 32 year old Michael Downing was in his kitchen and had a steak knife in his hand. The coroner says Downing burned his hand, and as a reflex jerked back, stabbing himself in the chest.
Bozeman says Downing's 10 and 8 year old sons were at home as it happened. Bozeman says he's not sure where the 8 year old was during the incident, but the 10 year old heard a noise, ran into the kitchen and saw blood covering his father's chest.
Downing called 911, telling the operator and his son he was ok, but by the time paramedics arrived, Downing had collapsed and was unresponsive.
"He was awake and had a whole conversation, then collapsed. He lost a lot of blood in his chest and did not realize how serious it was," says Bozeman.
Paramedics took Downing to AnMed hospital, where he died.
The coroner says the autopsy shows the knife blade went in 3 to 4 inches, and Downing knicked the artery that flows from this heart.
The coroner says the knife went in between Downings ribs.
"He'd probably be alive if the blade would have hit his ribs," says Bozeman.