Beachgoer describes being hit by truck

Woman 'panicked' after truck stopped above her

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A woman describes how it felt when an Ocean Rescue truck ran over her as she sunbathed on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Rinda Mizell, a teacher from North Carolina, is still recovering from the injuries she got during Tuesday's incident.

Mizell, who has since returned to her home in Charlotte, said she remembers putting her towel down near Lifeguard Station 3 in an area reserved for sunbathers and marked off by orange cones.

Officials said a lifeguard suddenly made a U-turn in the sand and ran over Mizell.

"I mean, the feeling of the tires going over you is an unmistakable sensation," Mizell said via phone from Charlotte. "I thought it was a kid on an ATV or something, who just stopped right over the top of me or something. I was screaming."

What really terrified her, Mizell said, is when the truck stopped above her.

"So now, everything is dark. Obviously, the truck is blocking the sun, and I reach my hand and touch the bottom undercarriage of the truck, and it's hot, and it burned my palm. Well, now, I panic," she said. "I did think that either I was going to die that day or I would have my legs severed or whatever. I mean, when a truck runs over you, yeah, you think the worst."

Mizell has cuts, scrapes and burns, and she said she suspects she may have a spinal cord injury.

"This wreck's completely prevented by before doing a U-turn, stopping, walking around your truck and making sure nothing's in your path," said John Phillips, Mizell's attorney. "It's a complete lack of training that caused this lady, my client, to get run over."

Because Mizell has retained an attorney, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue would not officially comment on what happened.

The lifeguard was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

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