Three beachgoers, including a four-year-old boy, were injured Sunday after being run over by pickups in separate accidents in New York and Florida.
A man and woman in Long Island, New York that had been run over by a police truck on Long Beach have non-life threatening injuries. The four-year-old boy, who was run over on Ormond Beach, Fla., is also expected to survive.
Police in Ormond Beach report that the boy had been run over on the shore by a 19-year-old man who had been driving around 5 to 10 mph during a mandatory vehicle evacuation owed to an approaching high tide, according to The Daytona Beach News Journal.
After being struck by the front bumper, the boy was then run over by the front and rear tires and sustained leg and stomach injuries. Police say that the driver is not at fault, according to News 6 in Orlando.
In New York, the Long Island Beach Police Department reports that one of their officers accidentally ran over a man and woman who been laying on the beach. The officer had been on patrol around sunset warning beachgoers that lifeguards were no longer on duty.
A witness recalled the accident.
“I was just walking on the beach and I saw a body underneath the wheel of the police vehicle,” a witness told nbcnewyork.com. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe I wasn’t seeing the right thing.”
The officer who was driving the pickup, a 20-year veteran, was also taken to the hospital.
Beach patrols are common in Long Beach. It’s been eight years since the last accident there in which a sun bather was run over by a police truck.
Though pickups and other vehicles are permitted to drive on some U.S. beaches, some groups have emerged to stop the practice. Safebeach.org was started by residents in East Hampton, New York who want to ban vehicles on a 4,000-foot section of Amagansett beach called Truck Beach.
In November, New York’s State Supreme Court ruled that residents could not deny public access to vehicles, namely pickups and SUVs that frequent the area in summer. Residents complain that the trucks and SUVs are unsafe for beachgoers and that they destroy beach dunes.