Cause, manner of death determined for woman found in driveway in Plainfield

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 12:18 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:17 AM EDT
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PLAINFIELD, CT (WFSB) - A woman was found unconscious in a driveway in Plainfield on Wednesday. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police identified the woman as Elizabeth Hill, 78, of 67 Beachwood Blvd., Plainfield.

A school bus driver saw the woman lying in the driveway of the home on Beachwood Boulevard and called 911, police said.

When officers arrived, they found her to be unconscious. They described her as partially clothed.

Authorities said she was taken to the Plainfield Emergency Care Center where she was pronounced dead.

Plainfield police initially treated the death as “suspicious.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the manner of death was natural causes. “Upon examination it was certified that cause of death was due to atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease,” Plainfield police said.

Neighbors said they were shocked learn about it.

“It was quite alarming [Wednesday] morning to see all of the vehicles going up,” said Sal Misale, a neighbor.

“Some of the kids in this neighborhood probably have seen it,” said Robert Bennett, another neighbor.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Windham District State’s Attorney’s Office said they are helping with the investigation.

Superintendent Paul Brenton issued a release to families after students on the district’s bus 16 may have seen the woman in the driveway.

“We believe very few students on bus 16 had a view of the tragedy. However, in an effort to be proactive and to support all of our students, our counselors and support staff will be meeting individually with students who rode the bus this morning, to check in and provide support if needed,” Brenton said.

Dr. Laura Saunders, a clinical psychologist at Hartford HealthCare, spoke to Channel 3 about how parents should approach such a situation with their children.

“You want to validate. ‘I hear that was scary. Was there anything else that happened that you wanted to share?’ Stay open, stay emotionally neutral,” Saunders said.

She encouraged parents to not over sensationalize the event, but ask open ended questions and wait for responses.

“And then you’re sort of wrapping it up with ‘is there anything I can do to help you? Is there anything that you need right now?’ Or ‘if you need to talk about this again, I’m open to talking about it,’” Saunders said.

There’s no word on any arrests or if police have suspects in mind.

Follow Channel for updates on the active investigation.

School bus driver finds body in driveway