Beachgoers at Oceanside Harbor Beach in San Diego, California, were met with tragedy Monday morning when a tractor accidentally drove over a woman and killed her.
The construction worker responsible for the incident was operating a front loader Caterpillar Tractor and was working on a dredging project.
The driver reportedly didn’t see the woman, who was described as being in her 40s or 50s and small. She had no belongings or identification with her and was lying alone and fully clothed on the sand, sleeping.
According to Tom Bussey, the Public Information Officer for the Oceanside Police Department, the operator thought he’d run over a hole.
“He hit a hole – what he thought was a hole – in the sand,” Bussey told KFMB-TV. “He turned the tractor around and came back and looked and he had accidentally ran over a female who was sleeping on the beach.”
Visitors to the beach had noticed the woman earlier. According to one of them, a surfer named Jay Burneo, she had been looking poorly that morning.
“I was going surfing around 8:30 this morning,” he told KSWB-TV. “There was a woman who was leaning against a wall, she looked like she was going to pass out.”
“I went surfing and then I walked out and saw her laying on the beach passed out.”
“I think she was intoxicated or coming down off of something. She weighed about 90 pounds. She didn’t look good and she looked like she’d been up for a while.”
The woman was later identified as 68-year-old Carol Aguirre, a local transient, according to KFMB-TV.
The driver of the tractor did not seem impaired, was very shaken up over the ordeal and has cooperated with police. According to Bussey, the driver doesn’t currently face charges, “but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be some down the road.”
“It’s a very tragic accident,” he added.
This is not the sort of incident that anyone can really prepare for, but it’s always good to keep an eye out for our fellow men and women so we can do our best to avoid heartbreaking accidents like this.
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