Coroner: Deaths of Portage mom, son could be tied to suspected overdose
PORTAGE – A Cambria County woman may have died last week as a result of making contact with drug paraphernalia while cleaning up from the suspected overdose death of her son, the coroner said Tuesday.
Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees said Theresa Plummer, 69, found her son, Ronald Plummer, 45, unresponsive in the bathroom Nov. 5.
He was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown for a suspected overdose.
Ronald Plummer died Nov. 7, one day after his mother.
Lees said Theresa Plummer’s death may have occurred as a result of her cleaning up her son’s drug paraphernalia in the bathroom.
The coroner believes she likely absorbed a substance through her skin or had some sort of reaction to the paraphernalia after handling it.
Lees said Plummer became short of breath and was taken to Conemaugh, where she died Nov. 6.
"This is a caution for safety for anyone coming into contact with any type of powder substance," Lees said. "You should use extreme caution and notify the proper authorities.
"My strong advice to any family that may have this happen to them is to call law enforcement to have them or EMS services come back and remove the substance or material that may have been left behind."
Autopsies have been performed, but Lees is awaiting toxicology reports.