2 dead, 4 sickened by mushrooms at elderly care home

6:32 PM, Nov 10, 2012   |    comments
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LOOMIS, CA - Two residents of an elderly care home have died as the result of eating wild mushrooms picked on the rural property by a caregiver and served in a meal.

Four other people, including the caregiver, remain hospitalized from Tuesday's incident at Gold Age Villa at 8100 Horseshoe Bar Road.

The Placer County Coroner identifed the fatalities as Teresa Olesniewicz, 73, who died Friday morning and Barbara Lopes, 86, who died Friday night.

Placer County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Reed said his agency became involved when it learned of the first fatality on Friday.

"We wanted to make sure there was no foul play," Reed said.  "It looks like a tragic accident."

Gold Age Villa operates out of a private residence owned by Raisa Oselsky and has been licensed since 2007 to accommodate six elderly residents, according to the state Department of Social Services.

"We are aware of the incident and we are looking into it," said department spokesman Michael Weston.

A woman who answered the door at the care home said she had no comment.

A sign was later posted at the end of the driveway asking reporters and photographers to stay off the property.

Last November, the state Department of Public Health warned of the danger posed by wild mushrooms that appear after seasonal rainfall.

The advisory strongly suggested wild mushrooms not be eaten unless their safety can be verified by an expert.

by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net


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