California Woman Crushed to Death by Tractor While Lying on Beach

A woman died at a San Diego beach after a tractor ran over her.

Police believe the woman, who was in her 40s or 50s, fell asleep on the beach, Newsweek reported. A spokesman for the police department told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the driver of the Caterpillar tractor felt a bump and thought he had hit a dip in the sand. 

The driver was using the tractor to get rid of a dredge pipe as part of a routine project.

Several lifeguards witnessed the woman’s death, which happened around 10 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Times.

Surf instructor John Daniels told the Times he recorded a video of the woman lying on the beach talking to a city worker in a golf cart before it happened. Daniels said he suspected the woman was homeless. 

Police said the woman was fully clothed and wasn’t carrying any identification.

When Daniels saw lifeguards putting a yellow tarp over the woman’s body, he ran up to tell them she’d been alive moments ago. He thought perhaps she had overdosed or had a medical condition. Then he saw the tractor and realized how she’d died.

“At that point, there is nothing you can do,” Daniels said.  

The accident is still under investigation, according to the Associated Press.

Manson Construction Co., which did the dredging, released a statement on the accident.

“All of us are devastated,” President John Holmes said.

This is the second time this year that authorities have dredged the harbor, the Times reported. They normally dredge it in the spring. But the pandemic caused some workers to leave the job early this spring, so they only dredged part of the goal area then.