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Stab or throw? Biomechanical studies on the injuring potential of glass fragments

Vera Sterzik, Beat Kneubuehl, Wolf Rupp & Michael Bohnert

abstract During a Christmas party, two male guests started fighting. The perpetrator was allegedly pushed onto a glass table by the victim or fell into the table together with that man so that the glass top broke and caused a cut wound on the perpetrator's back. According to his statement he then threw a fragment of the broken glass table in the direction of the other man hitting him accidentally in a way so that the subclavian artery was severed and he died from exsanguination. Tests on the breaking characteristics of the glass table, the flying behaviour and the kinetics of thrown glass fragments conducted on various models supported the conclusion that the fatal injury on the victim's neck could not have been caused by a thrown glass fragment. It was much more likely that a stab with a blade-shaped glass fragment was the cause of the fatal injuries.
   
citation Sterzik V, Kneubuehl B, Rupp W, Bohnert M. Stab or throw? Biomechanical studies on the injuring potential of glass fragments. Forensic Sci Int 2010; 199:e1-4.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 03-03-2010
journal title Forensic Sci Int (199/1-3)
ISSN electronic 1872-6283
pages e1-4
PubMed 20202766
DOI 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.11.023