Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Mildred Romkey had a birthday to celebrate.
Her nephew, Timmy, had just turned 39, and Romkey, a 77-year-old grandmother of three, drove from Waltham to pick up him and her sister for lunch Wednesday.
But as she pulled up to her sister's house in Quincy and got out of her sport utility vehicle, it began to roll backward. Romkey was caught in the open driver’s-side door and dragged with the car, which rolled down the hill about 100 feet and into an embankment.
Romkey ended up under the car and was crushed to death as her horrified sister and nephew looked on, police and Romkey’s niece, Lisa Worth, said Wednesday. ‘‘We’re just in shock,’’ said Worth, according to a story by Maria Cramer of the Globe's City & Region staff.
Police said they believe that either the emergency brake of Romkey’s Nissan Xterra failed or Romkey did not put the car in park. ‘‘Most likely, it was operator error, but it’s still under investigation,’’ said Patrolman Jim Flaherty, who arrived at the scene Wednesday on Winthrop Avenue, near Beale Street.