According to a report filed by Patrolman Matthew Miller, a member of the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department was driving in the 1800 block of South Tyler Street at about 9:13 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, when he saw the body of David Wayne Jeffrey lying under his 1997 Ford Explorer.
The vehicle was parked in Jeffrey’s driveway.
The fireman, 49-year-old Joseph Watts, said he found Jeffrey unresponsive and called police.
Miller said he also found the victim unresponsive and when other officers arrived at the scene they pushed the vehicle off the body.
Detective Sgt. Art Gamez said Patrolmen Jordan Tindol and Baldo Salazar were the officers who pushed the vehicle off the victim and they found the transmission was in reverse at the time.
When one officer tried to put the transmission in park, they failed to get it out of reverse.
Gamez said officers started the vehicle but they were unable to get the transmission into drive. The officers finally engaged the emergency brake to hold the vehicle in place.
By that time, Sgt. Chris Vasquez and Salazar had begun administering CPR but they were unable to revive the victim.
EMS personnel from Angel Care Ambulance Service arrived on the scene and took over administering CPR. But their efforts also failed.
The victim was taken to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville where he was pronounced dead at 9:49 p.m.
Detective Sgt. Ryan Treviño was the first investigator at the scene but Gamez took charge of the case when he arrived.
Gamez said there was some debate as to what caused the death after he found a small, brown bottle containing nitroglyceride tablets. The detective said they thought Jeffrey might have died of a heart attack.
But after further investigation, the officers are speculating that the death was caused by asphyxiation.
Gamez said the case is still under investigation but it appears that Jeffrey parked the vehicle in the driveway, thought he had put the transmission in park and then saw it rolling backward.
Police believe Jeffrey tried to stop the truck from rolling into the street and was knocked off his feet and caught under one of the rear wheels.
Officers checked with neighbors to see if anyone had seen the accident. No one had.
Jeffrey was an amateur wildlife photographer and an active member of the Beeville Photography Club.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.