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100-Year-Old Drowns Inside Car

December 8, 1997

PIGEON, Mich. (AP) _ A 100-year-old woman who lived alone collapsed at the wheel of her car, veered across the yard of her waterfront home and plunged off a 10-foot ledge into Lake Huron, dying before a neighbor discovered the watery tragedy.

Rhea Beatrice Shand was found inside her car Friday morning. She apparently suffered a heart attack before going into the lake, but the official cause of death was drowning, said John Champagne, a deputy medical examiner for Huron County.

A concerned neighbor spotted the partially submerged behind Ms. Shand’s home near Sand Point, at the tip of the Thumb region of the state, sheriff’s Deputy Tom Morneau said.

The centenarian drove her car between her garage and a privacy wall, over some small bushes and across the lawn. She then drove off the ledge of the lakewall, dropping about 10 feet into the water, Morneau said.

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