Medical examiner describes Stamford student’s fatal injuries
STAMFORD — A doctor in the Chief Medical Examiner’s office testified Tuesday about the fatal injuries a high school student suffered when she was struck by a van on her way to take the SAT exams.
The testimony came during the second day of a bench trial for painter Wilson Villa-Cabrera, who is accused of hitting Karina Tinajero-Arreguin with his work van in front of Stamford High School in November 2016.
Tinajero-Arreguin suffered bruises and cuts to the left side of her head and torso, as well as her arms and legs when the van struck her and threw her nearly 60 feet on Strawberry Hill Avenue. She also had internal bleeding and fractures to the lower parts of her left leg.
But what likely killed the 18-year-old, according to Dr. Gregory Vincent who performed the autopsy for the Chief Medical Examiner’s office, were the injuries to her head that included a brain hemorrhage and a hinge fracture of her skull, which put pressure on her brain stem.
“The injury to the brain stem is especially significant,” Vincent said while examining autopsy photos of Tinajero-Arreguin with state’s attorney Mitchell Rubin, Judge Richard Comerford and Villa-Cabrera’s attorney Rob Serifinowicz.
Villa-Cabrera, wearing an Armani-Exchange T-shirt, sat and watched, along with members of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association who also attended the hearing.
Villa-Cabrera, of Fieldstone Road, has been charged with the class D felony of misconduct of a motor vehicle after he struck Tinajero-Arreguin while driving down the hill of the deadly road where three people were killed in 15 years. According to police, Villa-Cabrera had enough space to slow down or swerve to avoid hitting Tinajero-Arreguin who was standing on the street’s double-yellow line.
Since the accident, a new crosswalk, a flashing cross sign and crossing guards have been added in front of the high school.
According to Vincent, Tinajero-Arreguin’s injuries were consistent with a blunt object strike and her death was ruled an accident.
The trial is set to resume on Sept. 27.