After a two-day investigation, police believe 54-year-old Bernadette Montgomery of New Castle, Delaware slipped and fell under the rear tires of the New Jersey Transit bus she had just exited.
Authorities released their findings Friday, after an autopsy was completed on Montgomery at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point.
"With the evidence gathered at the scene as part of the accident investigation, video surveillance from several businesses, statements taken from witnesses and preliminary autopsy findings it appears the victim fell shortly after exiting the NJ Transit Route 410 bus," said Bridgeton Police Captain Michael Gaimari in a statement. "The bus's passenger side rear tires then ran over the victim."
Gaimari added that the bus driver, whose identity has not been released, may not have realized what happened.
Investigators are still looking in to that part of the case and are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact Detective Ken Leyman at the Bridgeton Police Dept. 856-451-0033.
DEATH WAS SURROUNDED IN MYSTERY
Friday's announcement came two days after Montgomery's body was discovered on McCormick Place, between Orange and Bank Streets in Bridgeton.
At the time, police knew at least one vehicle ran over the victim, but it was not clear if the impact killed Montgomery or if the driver even realized they hit someone.
What investigators did know is Montgomery, from New Castle, Delaware, got off of the New Jersey Transit Route 410 bus before she was discovered around 6:30 p.m.. It was then a passerby saw her in the road and called 911.
Ranbir Boyal, owner of Supermarket Discount Liquor, showed Action News surveillance footage. The store cameras captured a New Jersey Transit bus traveling down the same road where Montgomery was found, ten minutes before the discovery.
Boyal told us, "Police come in here. They've already come in and looked at my cameras and stuff to see if they can get anything. If I can help them get any information, I will. Like, they asked me to make a copy of my video, which I'm working on."
"It is a help," said Captain Gaimari said at the time. "We don't have actual video of the incident occurring, but we have a lot of video prior to and after."
Herbet Glenn of Bridgeport says he witnessed part of the accident.
"I'm pretty sure the bus driver didn't know she was hooked on the bus. She just kept on going her route and the lady kind of fell off on the ground," Glenn said.
Police said at the time that no buses were impounded and would not reveal if any damage was found on them.
Action News talked to a spokesperson for New Jersey Transit who explained that the agency does not comment on ongoing investigations but was assisting police with whatever they needed.