It should have been a relaxing day in the park, but in the blink of an eye, it turned into a nightmare. A woman had taken her baby and her dog to the park to lay in the grass and enjoy the sun. Seemingly out of nowhere, a city maintenance truck drove off a path and onto the grassy area where the mother, her child and her dog were.
The truck drove over the woman and she was rushed to the hospital where she died from her injuries. Luckily, her child and her dog were not hurt in the accident, but the tragedy of the mother's wrongful death cannot be overstated. The horrific accident has enraged residents and park patrons who were left wondering why the truck was driving through the grass in the first place.
People who are on the grass in a park in the middle of the afternoon generally have no reason to believe or expect that they would be in danger of being hit by a car. After all, it's not as if they are in the middle of a roadway. So the fact that this woman was run over by a maintenance vehicle in the middle of the park has raised some serious concerns about park policies and motorized traffic.
Residents say that it is not uncommon to see maintenance trucks veer off the existing pathway and drive through the grassy areas of the park. It may be understandable that these vehicles need to reach areas of the park that are not accessible by the pathway, but reports say that they are racing through populated areas at high speeds.
Finding a way to prevent these types of tragic accidents should seem simple. If trucks must go off the existing path, they should only do so when necessary and with extreme caution. They should be looking out of people and driving slow enough that they can avoid a potential accident. They could also use their horns to alert others that they are in the area.
But none of that apparently happened in this case. At this point, it is unknown if the woman's family will pursue charges against the driver of the maintenance truck or the city. Should they choose to do so, they may be eligible to collect compensation for their loss and prompt some changes in how these vehicles are operated.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Outrage after San Francisco mother killed in park by city truck," Sept. 6, 2013