BJ Geraci didn't know anything about the lady who delivered her newspaper, until that carrier was killed outside her home in a freak accident just after 5 a.m. Friday.
71-year-old Carolyn Clifton was climbing out of her car to take a South Bend Tribune to the front stoop, when police say that car crushed her.
Officers think Clifton put it in reverse by mistake, thinking it was in park. She was knocked to the ground by the open driver's door and couldn't escape the rolling vehicle. Police found her pinned under the driver's side front wheel. She was already dead.
“Here she is out at the crack of dawn trying to make a living,” says Geraci. “She's trying to work and make money for her family. It's a week before Christmas and something like this happens. It's terrible!”
Carolyn Clifton lived at the Southmore Apartments, just a few blocks away from where she was killed. Friends say she was a caring and quiet retiree who picked up the newspaper route just to occupy some of her free time.
According to the South Bend Tribune's home delivery manager Carolyn had only been working the route since October. Her sister has a route in the Plymouth area.
“We have over 500 individual contractors and they're all everyday doing their job,” explains Bob Emerson. “Weather, traffic, and darkness are factors. Safety and security is we always remind our carriers about, but the bizarreness of what happened to Carolyn this morning, comes back to everyone has to be so careful out there.”
A safety reminder delivered in the worst possible way, through the tragic death of a working senior citizen.