Woman dies after getting arms stuck in clothing drop box, coroner says

MOUNT CARMEL, Penn. — A Pennsylvania woman has died after getting her arm caught in a clothing donation drop-off box.

Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley said Judith Permar, 56, died from a combination of trauma injuries she sustained in the accident and hypothermia.

The coroner conducted an autopsy on Monday. He said the Mount Carmel woman used a step stool to reach into the bin, and her arms became stuck when the stool collapsed. She broke her arms and wrists and couldn't get free. She was stuck dangling from the bin.

Investigators believe she went to the drop box about 2 a.m. Sunday. She was found dead more than six hours later.

Michelle Podpora told WNEP-TV that she drove by the donation bin during the time Permar was stuck there.

“Horrible. I feel bad for that day. I drove by that area, and I didn't see her. So yeah, it hits me, hit me hard,” said Michelle Podpora.

The drop box is located along a highway in Natalie, a small village in Mount Carmel Township about 60 miles northeast of Harrisburg.

Permar's son told WNEP-TV that said she always wanted to help the less fortunate and constantly donated to those clothing bins. In lieu of flowers, her family asked people make donations to their local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or animal shelter because Permar was an animal lover.

But according to police, Permar might have been rummaging through and taking items out of the charity box, The Washington Post reported.

"She was fishing bags out, and the ladder she was standing on gave way, and she couldn't get her hand loose," Mount Carmel Township police Chief Brian Hollenbus told the Associated Press.

Bags of items were strewn on the ground near her when she was found.

Hollenbush also told the Philadelphia Inquirer that police received a report of a woman, who drove the same kind of car as Permar, removing items from the same donation bin back in November.