A California woman was killed by gravel loaded onto a heavy truck. It happened in a freak accident Monday afternoon. Lindsey Combs, 32, was inside her vehicle at an improvement project on the sidewalk of her home in Martinez when she was crushed to death, Mercury News reports. When she got inside the car to move it out of her driveway, the gravel spilled over from the truck’s side and covered her car, according to California’s Occupational Safety and Health Division.
No one else was injured in the tragedy, which took place around 1:05 p.m.
Julia Bernstein, spokeswoman for Cal-OSHA, says Combs was at home when she was asked to move her car.
“Someone knocked on her door, the lady came out, then actually the chain of events that happened from there are under investigation as to how the gravel load came down onto the woman’s car, pinning her and killing her inside.”
Her brother, Robert Combs, believes that “this could have been avoided.” Burnstein adds that this was “absolutely an accident.”
Travis Hegarthy, a neighbor in the construction area, heard what happened and thought there was a bad car wreck. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran outside after the woman was killed by the gravel.
“It sounded like two cars going 80 mph going head on into each other. I didn’t expect to see a dump truck on top of a car.”
Hegarthy assisted several construction workers who were trying to get Combs out of the car, but the weight of the truck was too much. Someone attempted to move the truck with a backhoe, but it didn’t budge. An employee with JJR Construction, driving a gravel truck, asked Combs to move her car, according to Martinez police. That’s when the truckload of gravel fell over.
JJR Construction from San Mateo was cited in 2010 by Cal-OSHA for a minor safety violation. MSN reports that the company was also cited in 2009 — both citations involved JJR not posting proper signs.
State safety inspectors have 6 months to investigate the incident and note any other fines, citations, or infractions that might be discovered.
Contra Costa Times adds in its report that a neighbor was upset that the construction work continued less than 24 hours after the woman was killed by the gravel. She felt it showed a lack of respect.
[Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot NBC Bay Area News]