Safety & Accident

City Truck Strikes Napping Man in Calif. Park

August 26, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA --- A 32-year-old man, napping under a tree in a city park, appeared to have escaped serious injury Aug. 24 after he was struck by an Anaheim Parks and Recreation pickup truck. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the incident occurred about 11:45 a.m., when a city maintenance worker drove across the park grass toward a trash dispenser. 

The injured man, an Anaheim resident, was taken to a hospital. City spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz told the Times that he didn't appear to have suffered serious injuries. City investigators are trying to determine whether a visual obstruction might have contributed to the accident. 

The accident underscores how risky driving can be in an area where pedestrians may be lying down and much less visible. The risk is even higher in bright sunlight and on sloping surfaces. 

In recent years, Southern California has seen a handful of similar incidents -- but on beaches rather than in parks. Just a few have resulted in serious injuries. In 2005, for example, a lifeguard vehicle ran over a 21-year-old pre-med student lying on a Santa Monica beach. He suffered serious injuries, losing his spleen. That accident prompted a Santa Monica ban against lifeguards driving their pickup trucks on beaches between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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