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Ocean Rescue Vehicle Runs Over Beachgoer

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Rinda Mizelle Injuries

(Source: Mizelle Family Attorney John Phillips)

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FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A North Carolina woman had to be pulled out from underneath an ocean rescue vehicle after she was accidentally run over Tuesday.

Rinda Mizelle was allegedly struck by an Ocean Rescue vehicle as she laid on the sand next to a lifeguard tower.

“You’re thinking, this is how I’m going to die,” Mizelle told us by phone from North Carolina. “I started screaming and then everything goes dark because the SUV was blocking the sun.  The next thing I knew I reached up and touched the undercarriage of the truck and it was hot and it burned my palms pretty badly. I have tire marks on my t-shirt.  It was surreal and terrifying.”

Police said that Sherry Samuel, the driver of the ocean rescue vehicle had just finished speaking to a lifeguard at the rescue stand when she got on her vehicle, made a right turn, and drove directly over Mizelle.

Police reported that Mizelle was pulled from underneath the passenger side of the vehicle.

Mizelle was transported to Broward General Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Police reported that she suffered lacerations on her arms and legs, but was treated and released a short time after.

Millard Walters was on the beach that day and says he could not believe his eyes.

“The young girl, the lifeguard, was trying to turn around when she hit the lady,” said Walters. ” We were stymied why she was up here.”

This is not the first time a beach goer has been accidentally run over by an ocean rescue vehicle.

Mizelle’s lawyer, John Phillips, is also representing a Kansas woman who was run over in Daytona by Volusia County Beach Patrol in 2011.

“Several women have been run over on Florida beaches in the last 24 months and it is beyond outrageous,” said Phillips. “The Florida Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the “lethal mixture of cars and reclining persons” on beaches and the State has given sunbathers the right of way over all traffic.”

Samuel was placed on administrative leave while the accident undergoes investigation.

Mizelle herself says state lawmakers need to put some grit into the laws governing vehicles on the sand.

“Let’s put them on the sand and then say ‘gentlemen start your engines’ and then ask them if they want to change the law.”

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