KINGSPORT - A woman who was found dead on Lewis Lane last November suffered fatal head injuries consistent with an accidental fall, according to an autopsy report released this week.
Hawkins County deputies were called to the intersection of Lewis Lane and Tranbarger Road just north of the Kingsport city limits the afternoon of Nov. 24, where Charlotte Taylor, 73, 408 Tranbarger Road, had been found by a passer-by lying in the middle of Lewis Lane with head injuries.
Taylor was unconscious when deputies and paramedics arrived on the scene. She never regained consciousness and died at Holston Valley Medical Center on Nov. 27.
Because there were no known witnesses, investigators at the time didn't know if it was an accident or a hit-and-run.
A patrol deputy remembered seeing Taylor walking on Lewis Lane about 90 minutes prior to being called to the accident scene. The sheriff's office asked the public for anyone who'd seen what happened to Taylor to come forward, but no one did.
Neighbors told deputies that Taylor walked on a daily basis. There isn't much of a shoulder in that area, so pedestrians have no choice but to walk on the roadway.
Taylor reportedly had health issues that may have contributed to a fall.
The autopsy was performed at the Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City.
"The autopsy report didn't say why she fell," Sheriff Roger Christian said. "It just said her injuries were consistent with an accidental fall. The actual cause of death was a head injury - fractured skull."