Celebrity Shatner Autopsy Revealed By People Staff Published on December 23, 1998 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Alcohol and the sedative Valium contributed to the accidental drowning of William Shatner’s wife, according to autopsy findings. The cause of Nerine Shatner’s death on Aug. 8 was “drowning associated with neck trauma” and was accidental, a Los Angeles coroner’s spokesman said Tuesday. Mrs. Shatner suffered a broken neck when she dove or fell into the pool, the autopsy said. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.28 percent, more than three times the legal limit for California drivers. Mrs. Shatner, 40, was alone at the couple’s Studio City estate when she drowned. Police say there was no evidence of foul play.