State

No charges in woman’s fatal fall at Belleville nursing home

BELLEVILLE – An investigation has found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the death of an 85-year-old woman found dead at the bottom of a stairway at a Belleville nursing home.

St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone announced Monday that Juanita Simmons’ injuries were consistent with a fall. Her body was found still strapped in a wheelchair March 12 at Midwest Rehabilitation and Respiratory Center.

The Belleville News-Democrat reported investigators reviewed surveillance video showing Simmons alone in the hall several minutes before she was found at the bottom of the stairs.

Stone said a nurse failed to contact police or the coroner’s office because she was afraid she would lose her job.

The center’s administrator has declined to comment to the newspaper.

Stone said Simmons’ family can look into filing a civil lawsuit.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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