Quebec coroner determines death of Salluit teen was accidental

Maggie Tayara, 15, died of “environmental hypothermia”

The Office of the Quebec Coroner says the death of 15-year-old Maggie Tayara last January in Salluit was accidental. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

A Quebec coroner has determined that the death of a 15-year-old girl in Salluit on Jan. 27 was accidental.

“The death of Maggie Tayara is attributed to environmental hypothermia when she was intoxicated due to alcohol and cannabis,” coroner Steeve Poisson said in his report into the causes and circumstances of the teenager’s death.

“It was an accidental death.”

An autopsy on Jan. 31 at the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale in Montreal found no evidence of trauma or criminal intent, Poisson said in his report.

“Environmental hypothermia” was the cause of death.

Hypothermia, which occurs when a person is exposed to frigid temperatures, is defined by a person’s core body temperature dropping to lower than 35 C.

This drop in body temperature prevents critical organs from working properly including the brain and heart, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In low temperatures, death can follow within less than an hour.

The autopsy found Tayara’s blood alcohol level was 147 mg/dl—well above the legal limit set for driving of 80 mg/dl.

The autopsy also revealed traces of antihistamine and cannabis in her blood.

Tayara was last seen in the community of about 1,500 in an intoxicated state on Jan. 27 with her friends at 2 a.m., the coroner’s report said.

After her father told the police at about 3:45 a.m. that she had never come home, the police conducted a search, but couldn’t find her.

A resident found Tayara’s partially snow-covered and frozen body some 12 hours later under a building, the coroner’s report said.

The temperature that night in Salluit fell to about minus 28.9 C, says Environment Canada.

Because members of the Kativik Regional Police Force were involved in the unsuccessful search for Tayara, Quebec’s independent police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, investigated her death.

The BEI investigates deaths and injuries that take place in connection with police operations, but it does not always forward a report that results in charges being laid.

The BEI referred its findings about Tayara’s death to the director of criminal and penal prosecutions and the Quebec coroner’s office on Oct. 9.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by TGC on

    Thoughts and prayers are with the late Maggie Tayara’s family. However to remain silent, to not speak up about the toll that alcohol dependency takes on a community would be an injustice to her memory.

  2. Posted by WTF?? on

    She was only 15. Why cant the parents be charged with negligence causing death?
    Or this sort of thing not uncommon in Salluit?
    Someone must know who supplied alcohol and drugs to a minor? Isn’t that illegal?

    • Posted by Nunavimmiut Youth on

      Are you from Nunavik? Are you aware of the living in the north? Let alone teenage life?

      There is a big probability none of this could’ve been stopped, I mean where did they find her?
      Also, Youth have always been drinking and smoking where we live, if you live here, do you live under a rock? Do you think bootleggers care whom they sell to? The “Almighty Dollar” has no limits to greed.

      • Posted by Bad attitude and silence on

        Sure see the attitude displayed in your comment. Not a good attitude at that. Taking responsibility for these abusive alcohol,and drug behavioural outcomes are lacking in Nunavik. Blame is either put on the south, and or bootleggers, not withstanding the blame to the devil and God. Condolences to the family. But more needs to be done in such small communities, with education. This young girls death in not unique to the north, but alcohol abusive behaviours are unique to the north, in that its causing phenomenon problems not seen elsewhere.

  3. Posted by Aunt on

    She had a very short life that’s all but she was so young and still pretty much mature so please accept and see the good side to it.

  4. Posted by Show the world the stats on

    Alcohol is disabling and taking the life of so many people in Nunavik. I think the government should put the statistics out for the world to see just how bad it is. The cemeteries are full of people who have died on atv, snowmobile and vehicle accidents from either being impaired or being hit as they walk, and or was a passenger in the accident. Brain injury, and spinal cord injury has overwhelmed the trauma centers. Medivacs are daily. Many houses in Nunavik , now need special ramps, for the young people in wheel chairs from the injured caused by alcohol. Nursing care is overwhelmed with the need, either to keep the injured in the southern care centers, or arranging special care in the communities, as the survivors come back from months in southern hospitals. But the real concern, is that theres no insight that this is a problem. You still see drunk drivers in large numbers ,despite the police cracking down on the drunk driving. Its an epidemic like nothing else.

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