Coroner rules nursing home death ‘accidental’

Local News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Sonya Kington died in June after she was outside in the heat for hours.

Now the Illinois Attorney General’s Office has been handed the case. They’ll decide if there will be any charges.

We reached out to them today, but we didn’t hear back yet on if there will be any charges. The Illinois State Police is also handling the investigation.

“Especially with children and elderly people, their bodies have a hard time under certain conditions regulating their body temperature.”

And that summer heat was too much for Sonya Kington.

“She was found outside on a day when the temperature reached 90 degrees.”

The coroner says Kington’s death was caused by hyperthermia. It was brought on by the hot weather that day.

“We believe she was possibly out there for several hours, there was nothing out of the ordinary for any other investigation that we would handle. They were passing around drinks for meal time, and it was at that point they realized that Mrs. Kington was not in the nursing home or in that area, they began to search for her and found her in the courtyard.”

Northrup says there was only one nursing home employee who reported seeing her in the courtyard around 3pm. That staff member was later fired.

“From the video, obviously all of the staff that worked in the nursing home appeared to be shook up and concerned when they found her outside.”

In a statement, County Administrator Rick Snider says nursing home patient safety shall always be the number one priority for the Champaign County government.

He says the nursing home is cooperating with all investigations, and he wishes to express their deep sadness regarding Mrs. Kington’s passing.

The coroner told us that for every case there are five options for the manner of death.

He says the only option that really made sense in this incident was “accidental.”

The Champaign County Nursing Home has had a host of problems in recent years, mostly financial. Now, the nursing home is under new a new administration, through SAK Management. They took over on July 1st, and they say they’ve hit the ground running.

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