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Coroner says bridge worker suffered heart attack


By:  Star Beacon - Mark Todd

ASHTABULA — A heart attack killed a Youngstown man working on the Ashtabula Harbor lift bridge early Thursday afternoon, according to the Ashtabula County coroner’s office.

Preliminary autopsy reports received Friday from the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office pinned down the cause of death, said James Baehr, coroner’s investigator.

John Wilks IV, 50, was working many feet in the air inside the uplifted bridge when he was stricken, according to reports. Firefighters using an aerial ladder truck removed Wilks from the structure. Resuscitation was attempted, Baehr said.

Wilks was pronounced dead at Ashtabula County Medical Center, Baehr said.

Meanwhile, more tests are needed to determine what killed an Ashtabula woman found inside a vehicle on Route 84 at Route 11 around noon Thursday, Baehr said. The body of Jeanette Wuori, 51, was found at a fueling station/shopping plaza at the intersection.

Toxicology tests are needed for a precise finding, Baehr said. The tests could take three months to complete, he said.

The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department also is investigating, Baehr said. Foul play is not suspected, he said.

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