Authorities investigating death of young mother run over by SUV - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Authorities investigating death of young mother run over by own SUV

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LA MESA (CNS) - Investigators sought Friday to determine what caused a sport utility vehicle to roll out of control backward down an East County family's driveway, running over and killing a mother of three who had just strapped her children into the back seat of the SUV for an outing to a neighborhood park.

Heidi Durfey, 24, was dragged by the GMC Yukon XL about 60 feet down the steep slope in front of her home on Glenira Avenue in La Mesa shortly before 9:30 a.m. Thursday, winding up pinned underneath the SUV in the street.

A woman who lives nearby hurried to the scene of the accident upon hearing the cries of Durfey's traumatized toddler daughter, who had climbed out a window of the vehicle after it crashed to a halt against a parked truck, Lt. Dan Willis said.

Emergency crews used a jack to lift the vehicle off Durfey, and medics took her to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where she was pronounced dead about three hours later.

The children, ages 4, 2 and 5 months, were unharmed.

Authorities found no obvious immediate answer for what caused the "tragic" accident, Willis said.

"It's going to take some time," the lieutenant said this afternoon. "The difficult thing is there were no (adult) witnesses."

It remains unclear if the SUV's emergency brake had been set, if it was in gear or if its engine was running, according to Willis. Police believe Durfey likely was next to the driver's side door, possibly in the process of getting into or out of the Yukon when it began rolling back-end first down the curving driveway.

The investigation will likely take several weeks to complete, according to Willis.

 

 

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