Hairdresser died after accidentally reversing car over herself

·2-min read
Blanche Mullinge - Family/Solent News and Photo Agency
Blanche Mullinge - Family/Solent News and Photo Agency

A mobile hairdresser was killed after she failed to put her automatic SUV in park and accidentally reversed over herself.

After arriving at a client’s house, Blanche Mullinger stepped out of her car, leaving the engine running, and went to the back to get something.

She then stood up and reached back inside the footwell of the driver’s seat, accidentally pushing the accelerator.

With one foot lodged inside, the 57-year-old was dragged under the front wheels of the 1.5-ton Mazda CX-5 and died “within a minute” from a heart attack.

Her client, Marzena Ozimek, told Hampshire Coroners’ Court that she heard Ms Mullinger scream shortly after arriving at her house in Bordon, Hampshire.

Under the dashboard

She said: “I started running towards her. I noticed Blanche’s head was wedged under the front wheel of the right-hand side of the car and her foot was still inside the car. It appeared her foot was stuck under the dashboard, while the rest of her body was lying on the ground.”

Ms Ozimek told the hearing that Ms Mullinger had made a “guttural sound” for a few moments before falling silent.

She said she had banged on neighbours’ doors to get help and then stopped a man who was driving past because she could not drive and did not want to attempt to move the car.

Ms Ozimek said: “Myself and the man dragged her out... a streak of blood followed as she moved and this appeared to be coming from the back of her head. The blood was leaving a stain on the road.

“At that point her face looked grey, her lips were bluish. When you looked at her you knew she might be dead.”

Paramedics attended but were unable to revive Ms Mullinger. She was taken to Southampton General Hospital after the incident on Sept 28 last year and died the next day.

Police Sergeant Jamie Barron said investigators concluded from CCTV footage that Ms Mullinger, from Bordon, had accidentally stepped on the accelerator after she left the car in reverse instead of park.

The court heard she was unmarried and had one son, with whom she had recently got back in touch.

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, the area coroner for Hampshire, said it was a “dreadful accident” and the main cause of death was hypoxic ischemic brain injury, caused by a “traumatic cardiac arrest” brought on by an “accidental reversal of car on self”.

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