As the inquest into her death continues, questions still linger — how did Nadine Machiskinic get into the laundry chute at the Delta Hotel and why was the initial autopsy report changed?
Machiskinic, 29, died following a 10-storey fall down the laundry chute at the Regina Delta Hotel in January 2015.
Dr. Shaun Ladham, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy, provided some of those answers to the inquest jury Tuesday.
Ladham concluded Machiskinic suffered “significant trauma that was not survivable.” The 29-year-old had multiple contusions, internally and externally, to her head and trunk area.
According to the pathologist, Machiskinic suffered a “large impact to her head,” which had been partially separated from the neck. Ladham noted the cause of death was blunt force trauma, likely from a fall.
Machiskinic’s cause of death was deemed undetermined in Ladham’s initial report, which he described as a “working document.” At the time, the pathologist raised red flags about the level of drugs and alcohol in the woman’s system.
Reading the toxicology report, he concluded Machiskinic was “unlikely to get into the chute herself.”
Ladham said he changed the report to rule the death accidental following a conversation with Saskatchewan’s chief coroner Kent Stewart.
The coroner had reportedly learned from the Regina Police Service investigation Machiskinic was functioning normally at the Delta Hotel the moments before she died.
With that information, and a report from a toxicologist in Alberta specializing in people with a tolerance to drugs and alcohol, Ladham felt it was necessary to amend his initial report.
Noah Evanchuk, the lawyer representing Machiskinic’s family, said he found the level of “tinkering” to the report odd.
He hoped one of the recommendations to come out of this inquest will be that all future working reports be amended in separate documents, rather than in place of any initial rulings.
“We must have some accounting for drafts of formal documents, especially when dealing with the death of an individual,” Evanchuk said.
“It must not be something that can be revised in a Word Perfect document, but in fact a new document created out of precedence. We do this when we file updated briefs of law, you can file an updated affidavit or motion, and I think that is maybe something we are dealing with here.”
Based on the injuries Machiskinic sustained, Ladham believed it likely she went down the chute feet first. When questioned by Evanchuk, however, Ladham noted there was the possibility she went in head first.
“Which would imply Ms. Machiskinic was put there by somebody,” Evanchuk said afterwards, adding “we don’t have surveillance video, we don’t have a direct view of that.”