- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Virginia woman died Friday morning after falling off the top of a Chevrolet cargo van where she had been attempting to secure a king-size mattress as the vehicle traveled through Prince William County, police said.

Authorities pronounced 20-year-old Culpeper resident Sidney Zelaya Gonzalez dead at the scene upon responding to the Friday morning mishap in Haymarket, Va., about 40 miles west of Washington, D.C.

Gonzalez was assisting the driver of the van, an unidentified 41-year-old woman, in moving the mattress a short distance Friday morning when she fell and hit the pavement at about 6:42 a.m., police said.

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“The investigation revealed that the victim was riding on a mattress which was placed unsecured on top of a 2006 Chevrolet Express Van,” a Prince William County Police spokesperson said. “While the van was traveling … the victim separated from the top of the van.”

Police believe neither speed nor alcohol played a part in the woman’s death, and said the driver of the van stayed at the scene.

“This was not a joy ride,” Officer Nathan Probus, a public information officer with Prince William County, told WTOP.

“It’s a bizarre case,” he told the Washington Post. “I don’t remember ever having to deal with a situation like this.”

Potential charges against the driver are pending following the results of a police investigation, authorities said.

“If any charges are filed, it probably wouldn’t be until next week. We need to meet and talk with the local commonwealth attorney first,” the officer told the Culpeper Star Exponent.

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