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Dead Man Lay In Car For Hours

Thu., Oct. 26, 1995

A man lay sprawled half in and half out of the back seat of his car, his legs on the curb, and hours passed before any of the bustling passersby noticed he was dead.

Richard W. Niner, 65, suffered a heart attack in his 1968 Ford station wagon the afternoon of Oct. 10 in a busy district of office towers and high-rise apartments less than a block from police headquarters.

“He was out there for four hours before someone walked a half-block to the police station to report it,” one of Niner’s 10 children, Timothy, said Wednesday.

No one knows exactly how long Niner lay there, or exactly when he died. He’d left his lawyer’s office and gotten into his car, but never made it to his next stop, a nearby bank. He was found clutching deposit slips.

While thousands of cars pass nearby on a typical afternoon, the street where Niner died carries only local traffic, and officers going to and from police headquarters use a different route.

“It’s just a bizarre tragedy. I don’t think it says anything else,” police spokesman Tom Bell said. Anyone who noticed Niner probably thought he was asleep, he said.

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