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Sheriff says long-missing Signal Mountain woman's death accidental

Staff Report • Jan 4, 2012 at 4:39 PM

CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Hamilton County's sheriff says a "tragic accident" claimed the life of a Signal Mountain woman who was missing for seven months before her remains were recovered with the wreckage of her car on a densely wooded mountainside.

Sheriff Jim Hammond, Signal Mountain police chief Boyd Veal and investigators said Wednesday that forensic tests show no sign that anyone else was involved in the April 30, 2010, crash that killed 44-year-old Gail Palmgren.

Sheriff's Department Sgt. Mark Kimsey said the investigation and equipment show Palmgren was traveling about 24 mph on a dry road when she suddenly lost control and went over the bluff. She was not wearing a seat belt but Kimsey said it is unlikely the impact was otherwise "survivable."

The early December recovery followed trees losing their leaves.

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