Experts are puzzled by three recent incidents in which Orange County, Cal., residents have been pinned and killed by their own vehicles, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The paper says such accidents are so infrequent that their numbers aren’t even tracked. Yet the three cases occurred over the past seven weeks.
On Wednesday, a 50-year-old man died after he was run over twice by his 1987 Jaguar, which witnesses said was circling in reverse in a Brea parking lot. Quoc Nguyen of Pomona was chasing the car when it hit him.
“We can only speculate that he stopped, left the motor running and assumed that he had put it in park and that it slipped into reverse,” said Brea Police Lt. Martin Needham. “It’s the first case of its kind I’ve ever seen – and I’ve been a cop for 25 years.”
Last month, two people were killed when their driverless cars suddenly rolled backward. A 67-year-old woman was crushed against a cinder-block wall in Laguna Beach after trying to stop her BMW 328 from rolling.
And in Newport Beach, a 44-year-old woman was caught under the left front wheel of her Honda Accord when she tried to stop the car from rolling backward.
Though these kind of rare accidents often leave authorities with questions unanswered, there’s one piece of advice investigators agree on: Don’t get in the way of a moving vehicle that has no one behind the wheel.