(Neb)-Hospital Death Now Listed As Sheridan County Alcohol-Related Traffic Death
RUSHVILLE, Neb. (AP) - Sheridan County Attorney Jamian Simmons says the death of Pine Ridge woman at Rapid City Regional Hospital on July 5th will be counted as a Nebraska traffic death, the first in an alcohol-related accident in the county since the closing of the beer stores in Whiteclay at the end of April.
Simmons told the Omaha World-Herald that a South Dakota coroner had determined 49-year old Troylyn Pourier's death was related to her July 2nd rollover accident a little before 5:00 am about 6 miles south of Whiteclay on Highway 87. Pourier's blood-alcohol level was more than 3 times the legal limit when tested just after the accident.
Pourier, who was alone, initially refused medical treatment but was finally taken to the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge for initial treatment before being transferred to Rapid City Regional. She died there 3 days later and Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins says he was originally told Pourier's cause of death was a heart attack
One of the arguments against closing the Whiteclay stores was that it would lead to an increase in drunk driving accidents as residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation would simply drive on to Rushville and other towns to buy alcohol, but Sheriff Robbins told the World-Herald while he's seen more traffic, there hasn't been an increase in alcohol-related crashes.
The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission denied renewal of the licenses for the Whiteclay beer stores, citing a lack of law enforcement in the area. The stores appealed to the district court and a Lancaster County District Judge overturned the action, blasting the commission in the process.
Attorney General Doug Peterson then appealed to the state Supreme Court, leaving the denial in effect until the appeal is decided. At last report, no date had been set for the case.
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