A 45-year-old Sarasota woman who was trimming overgrown grass in the Mauna Loa Boulevard median has died of her injuries, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
At 9:30 a.m. Monday, troopers responded to Mauna Loa Bouleavard and Bikini Way for a crash that threw Andrea Rody, 45, according to a Highway Patrol report.
Rody was taken to Bayfront Medica Center and died at 1:14 p.m. as a result of her injuries, according to highway patrol.
Samantha Lax, 20, of Sarasota, for unknown reasons failed to see Rody, and struck Rody with the left front and side of Lax's 2001 Lexus LS 430 to strike Rody, according to Highway Patrol. Lax was uninjured, according to the report.
The area that Rody was tending to was neglected by a county mower contractor, which helped prompt the county's overhaul of its mowing program, which was just launched last week, The Herald-Tribune reports:
Ninety minutes before she was struck, Rody was approached by a county worker who saw her cutting the grass. Rody complained vehemently that the county had not mowed in two months, according to a county report.
The county worker told Rody he would need a work order before cutting grass on the median, the report said.
Apparently only moments before she was struck, the county worker returned to Mauna Loa Boulevard and told Rody a work order had been approved to cut her median later that day or on Tuesday. Rody thanked the employee, and said she would stop after she cut around one more bush, the report said.
Sarasota County issued a release Wednesday, Aug. 1, explaining the restructured mowing program after contractor Bloomings Landscape and Turf Management failed to complete work.
The county is divided into four mowing sections and four contracts. Sarasota would fall in either the Rural North or Urban North section.
Mauna Loa Boulevard would be in the Urban North area, and the contract is expected to be awarded this week, according to the county. A backlog of 30 months worth of mowing was created out of the situation, according to the county.
Deputy County Administrator Bill Little told The Herald-Tribune that he didn't "feel responsible for someone taking action on their own, to do something like this." and that he is "very much concerned this happened."
This version corrects which mowing district Mauna Loa Boulevard is in.