Woman crushed to death after forgetting to put car in park

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 10, 2013 

A 73-year-old woman was crushed to death by her own vehicle Monday after she forgot to put the car in park, according to the Muscogee County Coroner's Office.

Martha Hardeman, 73, was found dead in the driveway of her home on the 6600 block of Natha Avenue after a neighbor came to check on her Monday evening. Police and EMS arrived on the scene at about 9 p.m.

Coroner Buddy Bryan said a receipt found with Hardeman's belongings showed that she left a Piggly Wiggly at about 12:44 p.m., after which she is thought to have returned home. When she arrived at her house, she forgot to put the vehicle in park. As she exited her vehicle, the driver's side mirror knocked her down as the car rolled backwards, causing her to fall underneath the car. When police arrived, the car's tire was on top of her chest.

Bryan said the car completely crushed her rib cage on the left side. She was found with a garage door opener in her hand.

About eight hours later, a neighbor came to check on Hardeman when he noticed her car lights on. The neighbor then called police.

Bryan said Hardeman lived alone, her husband having died in 2002. Her children and grandchildren were notified of her death after the accident.

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