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Police: Girl accidentally hit accelerator, fatally pinning mom beneath car

A 48-year-old North Tonawanda woman died Thursday evening when she was accidentally run over by her car with her 10-year-old daughter at the wheel, North Tonawanda Police Capt. Thomas E. Krantz said.

The mother was driving home with her daughter at about 6:30 p.m. when the vehicle got stuck in a snowbank in an alley, between 14th and 15th avenues, that leads to their garage, Krantz said.

The mother was trying to back into a driveway off the alley when she got stuck, police said, in a statement released just before noon Friday.

According to North Tonawanda Police, before the accident the woman had returned home, with her daughter in the car, and was attempting to back into her driveway, which is located in the alleyway between 14th and 15th avenues.

However, police said, the car got stuck in some snow and mud. The woman enlisted the aid of her daughter to remove some of the snow from around the tires, but still were unable to free the car, investigators said.

The mother directed her daughter to get into the driver’s seat while the mother attempted to push the car from the open driver’s side door, according to North Tonawanda Police, who said that the mother may have been trying to rock the car as she was pushing forward.

In that process, North Tonawanda Police said, the daughter accidentally hit the accelerator while the car was still in reverse.

As the car moved into reverse with the driver's side door open, the mother was struck by the car door. As the car continued moving backwards it pinned the woman under her car, North Tonawanda Police said.

Police received a call about the accident at 6:38 p.m. Thursday.

When the first officers arrived, they found the mother still underneath the car. A tow truck was brought in and it lifted the car to free the woman. Emergency medics tried to revive the woman but they were unsuccessful.

She was declared dead at the scene.

Police had not released the woman's name Friday.


A view of the alley where a North Tonawanda mother died when she was pinned under her car while trying to free it from a snowbank Thursday. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

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