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Woman died after being dragged into rollers of automatic garage door, inquest hears

An inquest has heard a man desperately tried to save the life of a woman who was dragged into the rollers of an automatic garage door in Cambridge.

Social worker Heidi Chalkley, 40, was heading for a night out with a friend on August 14 2016 when she grabbed onto the door at the entrance to the car park of Ruth Bagnall Court and was lifted about 3ft off the ground.

She then panicked after her hands got trapped and was pulled into the machinery.

Her friend, Susan Gilmore, witnessed the horror unfold and immediately rang 999, but Ms Chalkley died at the scene.

A man living nearby tried to push her up by legs in a desperate attempt to release the pressure on her neck after blood started coming from her mouth, but was told by paramedics it was too late.

Heidi Chalkley.

In a statement read by Cambridgeshire's assistant coroner at Monday's inquest in Huntingdon, Ms Gilmore said that Ms Chalkley had asked her whether she'd "ever held on to a garage door as it goes up" just moments before her death.

"As we planned on going straight out and into town, we walked towards the barrier rather than to the internal doors and going into the flat," she said.

"We were walking next to each other and Heidi has gone slightly ahead of me and pressed the button.

"As it went up Heidi said to me 'Have you ever held on to it as it goes up?' I said 'No'.

"She then reached up, held the shutter and it lifted her off the ground.

"I thought she would let go but she started to panic as her hands got caught in the barrier. Everything happened really quickly, in a matter of seconds."

A post-mortem examination gave Ms Chalkley's cause of death as multiple injuries, noting fractures to her ribs, spine, arms and jawbone.