A Crothersville woman died in a single-vehicle wreck late Friday afternoon along U.S. 31 south of Seymour.
Jackson County Coroner Roger Wheeler said Cheri A. Mankiller, 56, had a heart attack, which caused her to wreck the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu she was driving.
Mankiller was traveling southbound around 5 p.m. when she suffered a heart attack and her vehicle left the west side of the highway, went down an embankment into a wooded area and struck a tree before coming to rest in the 800 block of North U.S. 31 about a half-mile north of New Hope Church, said Officer Adam Nicholson of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
When Nicholson arrived on the scene, he said people had stopped to try to help the woman. But they couldn’t access the vehicle because the doors were locked.
Nicholson said he had to break the glass out of the rear window to gain access and unlock the doors, and he found the vehicle was still in drive.
“A lot of vehicles have the safety feature of locking the doors when they are still in drive, so none of the bystanders were able to gain access to the vehicle,” Nicholson said.
Nicholson said he wasn’t able to detect a pulse, and Mankiller didn’t show any signs of life.
Jackson County Emergency Medical Services personnel and Wheeler were called to the scene.
Paramedics hooked Mankiller up to an automated external defibrillator, but there was no heart activity, Nicholson said.
Wheeler pronounced Mankiller dead at the scene.
“It’s a sad situation for everyone that’s involved in it,” Nicholson said.
Dr. George Weir performed an autopsy Saturday morning at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and found that Mankiller died of natural causes, Wheeler said.
Assisting at the scene were Officer Dustin Steward and reserve officers Scott Davis and Kevin Settle, all with the sheriff’s department.