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Car fatally strikes Sarasota woman cutting grass in median

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:04 PM

A Sarasota woman, who earlier in the day complained to city workers about tall grass on a median in her street, died Monday after being struck by a car while cutting the grass herself.

Samantha Lax, 20, of Sarasota, was driving north about 9:30 a.m. Monday on Mauna Loa Boulevard approaching Bikini Way, the Florida Highway Patrol said. She failed to see Andrea Rody, 45, mowing the median with a grass trimmer.

The car Lax was driving hit Rody, who suffered critical injuries and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Rody was pronounced dead Monday afternoon, the highway patrol said.

The incident follows an encounter Rody had with city workers earlier that morning, according to an internal report.

That report states that employees on temporary mowing assignments, driving to their first location near Honore Avenue and Bee Ridge Road, saw Rody cutting grass in the median and stopped to talk to her.

According to the report, Rody complained to the workers that the grass had not been cut in two months. One of the workers tried to explain that he needed a work order before he could start mowing, but Rody continued to complain and they left for their assignment before getting an opportunity to tell her she did not need to mow the median.

About 9:15 a.m., as workers drove to the city's operations center and explained the exchange to a city planner, who then prepared a work order for the crew to mow the medians on Mauna Loa Boulevard after they finished their first assignment, the report said.

While returning to their first assignment, the report said, the workers told Rody they had obtained the work order and crews would mow the medians Monday afternoon and no later than Tuesday morning. Rody thanked the worker and said she would stop after she finished cutting around a bush.

The report said one of the workers became ill and, while returning to the operations center about 10:15 a.m., saw sheriff's deputies at the crash site.

An investigation continues.

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