(Reuters) - Melissa Ratcliff, a one-time aide to former Vice President Al Gore, has died after being hit by an out-of-control car in San Diego, authorities said on Thursday.
Police were investigating after Ratcliff, 45, was struck on Tuesday in the affluent neighborhood of La Jolla where she lived just after exiting her car, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement.
She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, the statement said.
A 91-year-old woman had just backed out of a parking space when she lost control of her car, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Ratcliff served in the White House as deputy director of communications for then-Vice President Al Gore from 1999 to 2000. Before that, she had been a press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"Melissa was an integral part of our team in the White House," Gore said in a statement. "A loyal and dedicated colleague, her counsel, foresight and determination were indispensable."
When she died, Ratcliff was vice president of marketing and events for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles: Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh)