Coroner: Summerville mom's bathtub death accidental

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- The bathtub death of a Summerville woman was ruled accidental by the coroner on Monday.

Tabetha Grooms died on May 9 and a coroner's report shows she died of anoxic encephalopathy due to hitting her head in a fall. The coroner ruled her death an accident.

"During the investigation it was proven that (Grooms) had fallen down on her own, multiple times that same day, and also a few days prior to the date of this incident in Florida, while visiting her 20 year old son when she fell down a flight of marble stairs when no one was present but her son," the report states.

It goes on to surmise that there may have been an undiagnosed injury from that fall in Florida that got worse, which was further compounded by Grooms' alcohol use.

The coroner said Grooms' youngest child alerted her husband to her fall.

"It is unclear to me why medical treatment was not sought immediately, but it was not sought after the fall in Florida either. This may have been the choice of (Grooms) after falling here, as it was when the fall in Florida occurred," the report states.

Police documents show Grooms' husband called EMS to the couple's Summerville Home on West Turner Street because his wife reportedly had too much to drink and passed out in the tub.

The coroner went on to say that the nearly month-long investigation into grooms' death proved that it was not intentional.

Her eldest son questioned the story presented to police by Grooms' husband, saying it did not add up to him.

"Never ever would she ever drink the amount of alcohol that we were told. That threw the first red flag for me," said Robbie Johnson. "Yea, my mom may have had a few drinks but, she was never an alcoholic."

The Dorchester County Coroner initially labeled the death as suspicious.