According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), a 33-year-old woman from Wichita, Kansas was out sunbathing on Daytona Beach Shores, Sunday morning, July 31, when a lifeguard, out investigating broken glass, failed to see a sunbather who was lying on her stomach and drove over her mid-section and head area with a pickup truck. The 21-year-old Daytona Beach lifeguard who drove over the woman during beach patrol reportedly never took the required 16-hour beach driving course.
The woman is now reported to be in stable condition at Halifax Health Medical Center in intensive care after she was observed by her family bleeding from her nose. FHP says this is the sixth time since 2003 that Volusia Beach Patrol was involved in an accident with a person on the beach. The county is reported to be reviewing its policy and will discuss a change at the County Council meeting on Thursday. Changes may involve using smaller vehicles such as using ATVs to patrol the beach, which would allow better visibility by beach patrol.
The employee was given a drug test and sent home after the incident.
The county realizes it is facing some personal liability. In Miami Beach, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, only lieutenants are allowed to drive pickups on the beach while others use ATVs. In some cases, a second employee rides to lookout for anyone lying on the beach. Whatever the changes are, expect some to be made.
Our best wishes go out to this woman for a speedy recovery.
While the county may be willing to cover her medical expenses now and in the future, an experienced Florida personal injury attorney would make sure that all of the compensation she and her family needs is forthcoming.
Sources: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/07/31/woman-critically-injured-when-struck-by-beach-patrol-vehicle-in-florida/?test=latestnews and http://www.news-journalonline.com/breakingnews/2011/07/beach-patrol-truck-strikes-beachgoer.html