Alton attorney Donald Smith dies after wife backs over him in Expedition; Sheriff is investigating

By Ann Maher | Apr 1, 2015


Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn said that an investigation is under way into the death of Alton attorney Donald L. Smith, 76, whose wife JoAnn backed over him in the driveway of their unincorporated Fosterburg home Monday morning.

Smith was pronounced dead in the emergency department of Alton Memorial Hospital. An autopsy conducted Tuesday indicated Smith died as the result of blunt chest trauma.

According to a press release issued by Nonn's office, it was reported that Smith had suffered an episode of dizziness and a decision had been made to seek medical aid via a private vehicle.

"The decedent was last known to be leaning against the exterior wall of the garage while the decedent’s wife, JoAnn, backed a vehicle from the garage," the press release states. "As she backed a Ford Expedition into the driveway, she felt the vehicle roll over something and upon further investigation it was determined to be the decedent, believed to have been collapsed into the driveway."

After someone called 9-1-1, Fosterburg Fire-Rescue, Alton Memorial Ambulance, and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene in the 2600 block of Jamison Drive at 10:03 a.m., the release states.

In addition to blunt force trauma detected in the autopsy, "significant" cardiovascular disease was also noted, the release states .

Routine toxicological testing for the presence of alcohol and drugs will also be conducted. The death remains under investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department as well.

Funeral services remain pending but are under the direction of Gent Funeral Home of Alton

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