Elderly woman run over by her own car; firefighter injured trying to stop it
POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 6:45pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 6:49pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — An 83-year-old Florida woman is recovering after being run over by her own car.
Gilda Bartlett was checking her mail Thursday morning when the car was knocked into gear.
Video shows her car that witnesses said seemed both out of control -- and in control -- at the same time.
"It started making loops, this way, to the left, counterclockwise," said neighbor Bob Curcio. "It just kept on going larger and larger."
Tire tracks on the cul-de-sac show the car cut nearly perfect circles as it revolved.
Horrified neighbors said Bartlett -- who is known around the neighborhood for her pet bird -- was run over after she left the car in reverse grabbing her mail.
"The door was wide open and it hit her, it knocked her down," said Curcio.
She was hit several times by the car as it circled the pavement. She was then dragged to safety by neighbors.
Firefighters and police responded, trying in vain to stop the car by flattening the tires.
"They tried the strip of nails and that didn't work," said witness Tom Bilinski.
One firefighter even tried to time a jump into the car in hopes of pressing the brake, but his arm got caught in the bumper and he was dragged around the street.
"He was going around, trying to get loose, and everyone was running after him," said Curcio.
The firefighter finally freed himself, but not before suffering bumps and bruises.
After about 15 minutes of trying to stop the car, it finally was halted by a sheriff's deputy who rammed it with his own car.
"He just pulled right alongside of it. He side-swiped it. It stopped. They all jumped in and turned it off," said Curcio.
Bartlett is expected to survive.
Bartlett's granddaughter said she had no broken bones, but that she did have a big cut on the back of her head that had to be stapled.