An unusual case involving an elderly women who died in her fire-scorched car on a Thousand Oaks cul-de-sac has been listed as an accident by the Ventura County medical examiners office.
Astrid Doermann, 70, of Westlake Village died Monday of asphyxiation by inhaling smoke and carbon dioxide, according to Jim Wingate, chief deputy coroner.
Authorities don't know why Doermann did not get out of the car after it caught fire.
" 'Abnormal' is the word I'd use," Wingate said. Doermann may have perished "because of how fast the fire went through the car and because she wasn't able to get out for some reason," he said.
Authorities said the fire started around the 1992 Ford Probe's catalytic converter--the environmental filter connected to the exhaust system--and ignited nearby brush.