Erin Joynt was lying out on Daytona Beach when a lifeguard in a beach patrol truck made a U-turn and accidentally drove her over.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning at 10am when the terrifying incident occurred. Erin Joynt, 33, of Wichita, Kansas was basking in the Daytona Beach, Fl. sun when part-time lifeguard Thomas Moderie, 21, made a U-turn in the sand and ran over her, right in front of her children.
“[The driver] was a young kid. He was very nervous. He called (for help) immediately,” eyewitness Marisa Caro tells The Daytona Beach News Journal.
Thomas was on his way to pick up a broken bottle near the shore when he accidentally struck Erin. Authorities say the teacher and mother of three, was lying on her stomach when she was hit by the truck’s right-front tire in the “head area.” Doctors were not hopeful at first, but her mother-in-law Wanda Garcia, says “it looks like she’s going to recover.”
“She was bleeding from the ears,” Mrs. Garcia tells Fox News. “The kids were swimming at the time and watched the whole thing. It was terrible.”
Erin is currently in stable condition at Halifax Health Medical Center. Although she cannot speak, she is communicating with her family via sign language.
Thomas Moderie, who worked as a lifeguard for five years and was about to enter the U.S. Navy, was “devastated” when he left the scene. He was to be tested for drugs following the incident and charges against him are reportedly pending.
“He’s just a great lifeguard,” Beach Patrol captain Tammy Marris says of Thomas. “The whole thing is just sad. We’re all shook up by it.”
This is the third accident in slightly more than a year involving a Beach Patrol vehicle and a sunbather. In May, a sunbather’s arm was run over and in June 2010 a Daytona woman suffered a fractured leg after being run over by a vehicle driven by a Beach Patrol officer. Two other incidents not involving patrol trucks, but cars on the beach, took the lives of four-year-old Ellie Bland in Daytona Beach in March 2010 and four-year-old Aiden Patrick in New Smyrna Beach in July 2010. So sad.
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