Police suspect a Perth mother who was found dead in her car outside a fast-food outlet in Karawara on Friday may have choked on a mouthful of chicken burger.
The 47-year-old Bentley woman is believed to have bought the burger from the outlet about 12.30pm and then parked her car in a quiet section of the Waterford Plaza shopping centre’s carpark to eat it.
There were no witnesses to her death and her body was found about three hours later by a member of the public who had just stepped off a bus and spotted her slumped over her steering wheel as they were walking past her car.
It is understood half of the uneaten burger was in her lap.
The woman’s car was locked, so the person who found her alerted security guards at the shopping centre.
They smashed one of the car’s windows to get to her.
An ambulance was called and paramedics attempted CPR as they drove the woman to Royal Perth Hospital.
She was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
It is understood the woman had three children, but her name has not been released.
It is also understood that police do not believe there was anything wrong with the burger which may have been a contributor to her death.
While choking is suspected to have been the cause, an autopsy is yet to be carried out and an inquest will be held to determine how she died.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, deaths caused by choking are not uncommon.
In 2016, 49 people — or almost one a week— died after a piece of food became lodged in their airway.
Another 88 people died after swallowing something other than food.
Young children and the elderly are most at risk, and health experts say choking is most commonly caused by people failing to chew their food properly.
This article originally appeared on PerthNow.