A declining number of suicides and overdose deaths are two factors behind the overall drop in deaths seen in Warren County last year. The county saw 78 fewer deaths in 2018 than the year before.
Suicides were down by four, fatal auto accidents by eight, homicides by three and overdose deaths declined by five.
Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby attributes the reduction in suicides to public awareness campaigns. He said the public has become more informed about noticing the warning signs for suicide, as well as the need to use seat belts while driving. Kirby said part of his job as coroner is to notice trends and work to prevent similar deaths from happening.
“We had some drownings in the Barren River from some people who were not from our country and it was one particular area they were from. There were signs put up in that particular area in their native language explaining about the currents and about the danger of the water particularly there,” he told WKU Public Radio.
Kirby said putting those signs up and successfully preventing similar deaths from occurring was the result of work by the Warren County multidisciplinary child fatality team. That group meets any time a child under the age of 21 dies. He said his office also works with the community to notice trends and prevent what they can.
“I don’t consider our job as ended when we find out the cause of death. We want to prevent other deaths and by looking at what we have in front of us and trying to make changes in our community to keep that from happening. I think that’s what it should be all about,” he said.
According to the report there were two cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome compared to none in 2017. Drownings also saw an increase by three in 2018. There are seven death investigations that are pending an autopsy or toxicology report.