Medication tied to student death

BY MELISSA BENTON
Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 5, 2004

The Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office released
the autopsy results on Monday for Kinesiology sophomore Kristi Anne
Sprecher, who was found dead in her West Quad Residence Hall room
on Sept. 6. The coroners determined that a complication with
medications caused her death.

Medical Examiner Office Manager Donna Tokarczyk said Sprecher
died of medication toxicity, which occurs when a person who is
taking multiple medications consumes too much of one or more of
them.

“Kristi Sprecher was taking various medications. The
toxicology results indicated that she had taken too much of one or
more of her medications, which ultimately caused her death,”
said Roger Simpson, chief investigator at the Washtenaw County
Medical Examiner’s Office, in a written statement.

Simpson said, however, that the cause of her death was
accidental.

“While there was a higher-than-normal level of medication
in her system, it was not high enough for a conclusion that this
was a suicide by overdose,” Simpson said.

Kristi Sprecher’s father, David Sprecher, said she had
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which is a connective tissue disease. The
disease results in weakness and sometimes excessive flexibility of
the connective tissues of the body, such as the skin, muscles,
tendons and ligaments.

“All the medication (she was taking) is related to the
problem she had with that disease,” Sprecher said.

Simpson said this cause of death is not uncommon for people who
are taking multiple medications for “chronic medical
problems.”

Department of Public Safety officers found Sprecher in her
single occupancy room in Cambridge House while performing a welfare
check at her parents’ request. The parents requested the
check after not being able to get in touch with Sprecher for about
24 hours.

Investigations by both the Medical Examiner’s Office and
DPS determined that the women’s death was unintentional,
Simpson added.