ST. PETERSBURG -- A transient woman was killed Tuesday night after she fell asleep in a parking space and was run over by a car, St. Petersburg police said.
The incident happened at 11:30 p.m. at the Palm Garden Condo Complex, located in the 5300 block of Fourth Street N.
According to police, Henrietta Regina Dickson, 55, had either passed out or fallen asleep in an assigned parking space between two carport support pillars.
At about 11:30 p.m., a woman pulled into her assigned parking space. Police said the front of her vehicle drove over Dickson's body, pinning the woman between the concrete parking spot and the undercarriage of the vehicle, police said.
Police said the driver felt the impact and got out of her vehicle. She saw a large tote bag, which belonged to Dickson, sticking out from beneath her car, just behind the front left tire, so she removed the tote bag and assumed that was what she had run over, police said.
The driver didn't see Dickson's body, which police said could only be seen from the front of the vehicle, and so she went into her house.
"This is a very unusual and very sad case," said Yolanda Fernandez of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
"She felt the bump and when she looked, it was a large tote bag full of things, full of clothing, and other items. She just figured that's what she hit."
On Wednesday morning, a passerby noticed Dickson's hand sticking out from beneath the front of the car and called police to report that a person was sleeping under a vehicle, police said.
Officers who responded found Dickson's lifeless body. She was pronounced dead at 8:12 a.m.
"That's horrible,” said Michael Evans, the victim’s neighbor.Evans was shocked when police came to his door on Wednesday morning."That she was in an accident,” said Evans. “That's all the police could tell me."
Later on, Evans would find out Dickson was dead.
The driver’s neighbors said there’s no way she’d do this on purpose.
"She seems like a nice person,” said Herbert Rivera. “I mean, if she realized she would have hit something, she would have said something."
The driver did not come to the door to comment.
As for Dickson’s neighbor, Michael Evans, he recalled some of the good times.
"I thought she was funny,” he said. “I'd get a real kick out of her."
He’s now trying to comprehend how this could happen.
No charges are pending against the driver. Police said they suspect Dickson may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
The driver has no criminal history and at this time, police say she will not face any charges in connection with this incident.
We are not naming the driver in accordance with Bay News 9 crime guidelines.