Cause of Death Revealed for Mother Who Died Suddenly on Flight

An autopsy has revealed that an Indiana woman who died suddenly on a flight home from a vacation in the Dominican Republic suffered from a fatal medical condition. Stefanie Smith, 41, passed away due to a carotid artery dissection in her neck on February 28, according to a forensic pathologist who communicated the findings to her family.

Smith’s brother, Chris Volz, described the incident as a “tragic medical event.” The condition that led to Smith’s death can disrupt blood flow to the brain, potentially causing a stroke, as per the National Institute of Health.

The sudden death of Smith, a seemingly healthy mother of two, had puzzled her family and the public, especially since it made headlines earlier this month. However, the autopsy results have confirmed that there was no foul play involved in her death.

Smith had recently spent five nights at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana, accompanied by her boyfriend and another couple. During her vacation, she maintained her daily jogging routine and enjoyed poolside mojitos and steak dinners, according to a friend.

Unfortunately, shortly after boarding her flight back to the United States, Smith began convulsing in her seat. The plane was rerouted to Turks and Caicos, where she was rushed to a hospital and subsequently pronounced dead.

Volz informed the media that Smith’s body is expected to be returned to the U.S. next week. Smith is survived by her 18-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter, who are now left to mourn their mother’s sudden and tragic passing.