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Pa. woman found dead under mower died from asphyxia

June 17, 2004|by DON AINES

DRY RUN, Pa. - A Fannett Township woman found dead under a riding lawn mower Tuesday afternoon died of compressional asphyxia, Franklin County Deputy Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer said Wednesday.

An autopsy was performed Wednesday at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa., on the body of Eva S. Martin, 66, of 21479 Path Valley Road, Peiffer said. It showed that the weight of the mower on her body caused her to suffocate.

Peiffer said Tuesday that Martin probably died between noon and 1 p.m. Her body was discovered by a niece.

Martin had driven the mower under a small tree with low hanging branches. The latch on the mower seat was not working properly, Peiffer said.

Martin may have been hit by a branch and pushed or fell off the back of the mower, which then backed over her, Peiffer said.

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Martin was the second person to die of compressional asphyxia in a riding mower accident in the past year in Franklin County. In September 2003, John Dice of Chambersburg, Pa., died when the mower he was riding tipped over into a hole on his property and rolled on top of him.

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