Man impaled by spike

Daily Planet Wire Service
Monday October 07, 2002

SAN LEANDRO – A San Leandro man was listed in serious condition Sunday after impaling his head on an iron gate spike in his front yard, a spokeswoman for Eden Medical Center said. 

David Renteria, 37, is in the intensive care unit with a penetrating wound to his neck and face, the spokeswoman said. 

The Alameda County Fire Department was called to Renteria's home at around 8 a.m. to find him kneeling in front of the 3-foot-high gate with a spike sticking about 8-inches into his head. 

The spike missed his jawbone but penetrated through his soft neck tissue to a point somewhere behind his right eye, said Battalion Chief Lennie Orr. 

Firefighters used bolt-cutters to slice away part of the gate before Renteria was taken to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley with the spike in his head and part of the gate still attached. 

A short time later, though, doctors called firefighters back to the emergency room to cut away more of the gate because it was impeding Renteria’s breathing. 

“It was a very different kind of call for us,” Orr said. “We don't very often get called into hospital operating rooms.” 

Officials are still trying to figure out why the man fell onto the spiked gate, Battalion Chief Dave Lord said.