California woman killed by gravel dumped on her car in driveway

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 24, 2015 9:12 PM

By Emmett Berg

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A San Francisco-area woman was crushed to death in her driveway by a load of gravel that spilled accidentally from a dump truck onto her car as she was about to move the vehicle at the request of construction workers, authorities said on Tuesday.

The tragedy occurred on Monday afternoon while sidewalk construction was under way along a half-mile stretch of the woman's street in the East Bay town of Martinez, according to an initial report gathered by workplace safety inspectors.

“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,” said Julia Bernstein, a spokeswoman for California's Occupational Safety and Health Division.

“It was not expected, and it was absolutely an accident,” she said.

The Contra Costa County coroner's office identified the victim as Lindsey Combs, 32, who according to her Facebook profile was a hairdresser and the mother of a 4-year-old girl.

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Martinez police were not immediately available for comment.

State safety inspectors have six months to investigate and report on the incident, including any citations or fines that might be issued should workplace infractions be found.

Bernstein said the general contractor for the project was cited in 2009 and 2010 for such regulatory violations as failing to post proper signs.

(Reporting by Emmett Berg; Editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Beech)