Sunbathing Woman Run Over by Lifeguard Truck in Venice

The lifeguard did not see the woman and immediately stopped, according to the LAPD

A 25-year-old woman sunbathing on Venice Beach was hospitalized after she was run over by a lifeguard truck Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The woman, identified as Lorae Bermudez, was on the beach with her husband near the 1500 block of Ocean Front Walk around 4:20 p.m, the LAPD said.

The lifeguard specialist driving a Ford Escape was coming back from a rescue. The driver did not see the woman and immediately stopped, according to police.

Because the lifeguard was not en route to an emergency, the vehicle did not have lights or sirens on, according to LA County lifeguard Capt. Steve Moseley.

The county, which is now investigating, will be looking into whether the vehicle was working properly at the time of the incident. Each lifeguard vehicle is equipped with four detectors, which helps lifeguards navigate while driving in the sand, according to Moseley.

Bermudez spoke with NBC4 from the hospital Tuesday and said she is feeling OK, but was advised by her lawyer not to comment further.

She is recovering from lacerations and fractures, according to the LAPD, which handled the initial accident report.

This was not the first time something like this has happened on Southern California beaches.

In May, a woman sunbathing at Venice Beach was injured when she was run over by a county maintenance truck. The accident was the first of its kind for LA County in 25 years.

In 2006, a woman was killed when an Oxnard Police officer, who was patrolling the beach, ran over her with his SUV.

Beachgoers at Venice Beach Tuesday were in disbelief something like this could happen again.

Vivianne Robinson, who runs the "Name On Rice" store on the boardwalk took photos of the huge emergency response following the incident.

"There wasa whole bunch of fire department lifeguards," she said. "I go, 'This doesn't look like the every day accident.'"

"You're laying on the beach trying to get a tan enjoying yourself and the next thing you know you get run over? Pretty scary," said Theresa Gutowski, who was visiting from New Hampshire.

Lifeguards must complete a safe sand driving course before being able to operate vehicles on the sand, according to LA County Fire officials.

Still, some beachgoers feel more needs to be done.

"Either (have) a designated area for them to drive or designated areas for people to be laying out," said Gutowski. "Or having something to protect yourself like a chair or something!"

"That's the last thing you think about when you come to the beach!" said Mary Moreno, visiting from the San Francisco Bay Area. "To have to worry about putting up posts, or flags or umbrella to let people know you're here? You just want to come to the beach to relax!"

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd and Oleevia Woo contibuted to this report.

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