Oceanside beach woman crushed to death by heavy machinery on California beach during dredging project. Woman was fully clothed and asleep on sand at time of accident.
Oceanside police said the woman was asleep when the tractor operated by a construction worker finishing part of a dredging project ran her over circa Monday morning, 10am.
Authorities who described the woman as ‘transient’ said she was fully clothed and did not have identification on her.
At the time of the incident, heavy machinery was being used as part of an exercise to remove a dredge pipe from Harbor beach, when the woman seemingly found herself in the project’s periphery.
Transient woman seemed out of it
Thinking he had a hit a hole, the operator initially got out of the tractor after the collision, investigators said. That’s when the operator realized he had run over someone.
Prior to the incident, there were some people who saw the woman lying on the sand and were concerned about her. One surfer who observed the woman said he thought she was sleeping on the beach — something police later confirmed.
‘One of the folks asked her if she was OK and she seemed to be OK. So I walked out, went surfing, came back and saw her laying on the beach passed out,’ the man told via KSWB.
Adding, ‘And I was concerned about her, so I asked another surfer, I go, ‘Hey can you check up soon this lady because I have an appointment I have to get to.”
How did woman come to end up in the periphery of heavy machinery?
A man saw the woman before the incident.
‘I was going surfing around 8:30 this morning. There was a woman who was leaning against a wall, she looked like she was going to pass out,’ Jay Burneo told via fox5sandiego. ‘I went surfing and then I walked out and saw her laying on the beach passed out.’
The tractor was operated by Manson Dredging, a heavy equipment company contracted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
The woman’s body was taken to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.
It remained unclear how the driver was unaware of the woman and whether the dredged area had been fenced off from beachgoers.
Police said Monday afternoon that her death was ruled an accident.
Alcohol and drugs were not believed to have been a factor in the incident, which remains under investigation,