Dying in Waupaca County
Area stats from medical examiner
By Robert Cloud
Suicide killed seven people in Waupaca County in 2022 and 10 in 2021.
Drug overdoses killed six people in 2022 and three in 2021 in Waupaca County.
Medical Examiner Cathi Wegener presented these and other figures in her report to the Waupaca County Board on March 21.
Wegener said there were 29 accidental deaths in 2021. The leading cause of accidental deaths were due to falls, which accounted for 11 of the total, followed by eight fatal vehicle crashes.
In 2022, 17 deaths in Waupaca County were fall related and five were caused by crashes.
Explaining her role, Wegener said the medial examiner responds to all unexplained, unusual or suspicious deaths, all homicides, suicides, reports of sudden infant death syndrome, deaths following an abortion, deaths due to poisoning (whether homicidal, suicidal or accidental), deaths following accidents involving any type of vehicle or boat,
Medical examiners also investigate when no physician was present within 30 days prior to death or when a physician refuses to sign a death certificate.
Over the last five years, an average of 400-420 people die annually in Waupaca County.
In 2022, there were 19 covid-related deaths, which represented a significant drop from 2021 when there were 56 covid-related deaths.
“We had about 90 additional deaths in 2020 and that was mainly due to the pandemic,” Wegener said.
Fentanyl was involved in all six fatalities due to drug overdose in 2022.
Of the 10 suicides in 2021, nine involved firearms, while one involved hanging. In 2022, four people committed suicide with firearms, while hanging killed three people.