A woman who had been dragged through the mechanism of a parking garage’s roller shutter died after asking her friend if she’d’ever held onto the door as it goes up.’ Social worker Heidi Chalkley, 40, was heading for a night out when she grabbed hold of the door as it climbed at the entrance to the car garage of her friend’s block of flats and has been lifted off the floor.
She panicked as her hands got trapped and were pulled into the mechanisms, Monday’s inquest in Huntingdon was advised.
A neighbor passing by attempted to rescue the life of the girl, who had been left’folded’ from the mechanics, by lifting her body to release pressure on her throat, the inquest heard. Ms. Chalkley’s friend, Susan Gilmore, who had been with her, dialed 911 but was left devastated since the mother-of-one died at the scene in Cambridge on August 14, 2016.
James Spitale, who tried to rescue Ms. Chalkley, said he heard someone on the phone sounding’incredibly distressed’, then saw a girl hanging three feet from the floor at the entrance to the car park of Ruth Bagnall Court, a block of apartments in Coleridge Road. In a statement, he said there was blood coming from the girl’s mouth, including ‘My immediate thought was to grab her and lift her.
‘I expected it would release the strain on her throat and allow her to breathe’ When emergency services arrived they told him it was too late, he said. A post-mortem examination gave Ms. Chalkley’s cause of death as multiple injuries, noting fractures to her ribs, spine, arms, and jawbone. It recorded that she had no alcohol or drugs in her system.
Ms. Gilmore said, in a statement read by Cambridgeshire’s assistant coroner, Sean Horstead, that it happened at around 7.25pm. ‘We’d intended to go out for a drink in Cambridge,’ she said. ‘Before heading out, I intended to drop my car off at home.’ ‘Luckiest driver in the world’ avoids being crushed to death by tire She drove into the car park, as usual, using a clicker to open the door, with the barrier — a metal grille — rising into a box at the top.
Ms. Gilmore said she parked and both women walked towards the gate which goes out on to the street.
‘As we planned on going straight out into town, we walked towards the barrier rather than into the inner doors and moving into the apartment,’ she said. ‘We were walking alongside each other and Heidi has gone slightly ahead of me and pressed the button. ‘As it went up Heidi said to me”Have you ever held on to it since it moves up?” I said, “No.” She said her friend’s legs were hanging down, and her body appeared’folded’
She then reached up, held the shutter and it lifted her off the floor.’ She continued: I thought she would go, but she began to panic because her hands got caught in the obstruction.