A former mayor died when she was run over by her own car while unloading shopping, an inquest heard.
Former mayor of Eastbourne Beryl Healy, 79, was crushed by her car after failing to put its handbrake on properly.
The frail widow parked her Renault Modus on her steep drive at her house in Eastbourne, East Sussex, but as she got out and went to the back of the car to unload her shopping, it started to roll down her drive.
Eyewitness Anthony Fox, a taxi driver, told East Sussex coroner’s court: “I heard a scream and I looked up. The car was coming backwards on the driveway, and she was behind the car.
“She then started to go under the car, the back wheels went over her.
“She was under the car. I ran over there and tried to lift the vehicle off her but that was not possible.
“I shouted to some builders working nearby and they came rushing over.
“We then lifted the car onto pallets.'”
“She said ‘help me.’ It was an unfortunate accident and I assume that the handbrake had not been applied.”
The accident happened at around 11:50am on June 4 this year, and Beryl was rushed by helicopter to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in nearby Brighton, but died shortly after 2pm.
She had suffered multiple injuries and internal bleeding.
Coroner Alan Craze said it was extremely rare for something like this to happen.
Concluding her death was by Road Traffic Accident, he said: “We are all human beings, and human beings make errors.”