Friends transport victim on futile trip to closed hospital in Cherokee Village
A Jonesboro man died from what authorities are calling a self-inflicted stab wound May 29 at the Red Mule convenience store in Highland.
According to the Oregon County, Mo., Sheriff's Department, Juan Salinas, 29, was airing up an air mattress at the Flash Market in Thayer when he stabbed himself in the leg with a knife; within two hours he bled to death.
Salinas' body was sent to the Missouri state medical examiner's office in Springfield for an autopsy and is now in the possession of his parents, said Oregon County Sheriff Tim Ward.
"He was cutting a tube on an air hose when he fell on the knife and cut himself," said Ward.He said Salinas' injury occurred just after 6 a.m. Salinas cut himself on his right upper thigh.
Ward said Salinas' two companions, a male and a female, drove him from the Flash Market to the closed hospital in Cherokee Village.
"They thought the hospital in Cherokee was the closest place to take him," Ward said. "They didn't know it was closed."
He said the names of Salinas' companions are not being released until the investigation is complete.
Salinas was alive during the trip and asked his companions to stop the vehicle so he could urinate, Ward said.
After discovering the hospital was closed, the two drove Salinas to the Red Mule where they contacted authorities.
Paramedics with Spring River Ambulance bandaged the wound and tried to revive Salinas, but the Sharp County coroner pronounced him dead at 7:45 a.m.
Ward said the three had been camping at Saddler Falls and were drinking before the incident occurred. No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation into the stabbing will continue, Ward said.
Investigator Mack Brand with the Missouri State Police is in charge of the investigation.