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Woman struck by flailing fire hose dies

By Jason Kessler, CNN
  • Woman dies after being hit by loose fire hose
  • Gertrude King had been standing in island median waiting for fire truck to pass
  • Authorities are trying to determine how hose became dislodged

(CNN) -- An 82-year-old woman died Thursday, two days after a hose dangling off a passing fire truck struck her in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Cambridge Fire Department truck was en route to a scene Tuesday morning, lights flashing and sirens wailing, when a hose slipped out of a compartment in the vehicle's side.

The driver continued on, unaware that the hose was unspooling, witnesses said. "We're talking at least 50 yards of hose that I could see," a witness told CNN affiliate WCVB.

Cambridge Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Flagg told CNN as the truck turned a corner, "the hose swung around like a slingshot and the (metal nozzle) end of the hose" hit Gertrude King.

King had been standing on an island median waiting for the truck to pass.

Coverage from CNN affiliate WCVB

The truck's driver did not notice anything amiss after the incident, witnesses told WCVB. A separate fire truck traveling behind the one with the loose hose alerted that truck's crew to the severely injured woman in its wake, one of the witnesses said.

After two days at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she underwent surgery, King died early Thursday morning.

The Cambridge Police Department is investigating why the hose dislodged.

Calls to the Cambridge Fire Department went unanswered Thursday.