Homeless man on California beach run over by maintenance vehicle

A homeless man in California who was covered in blankets at the beach was in serious condition after being run over by a maintenance vehicle Friday morning, officials said.

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The Los Angeles County vehicle inadvertently drove over the 53-year-old man who was lying in the sand at Venice Beach,  Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.

The man was alert but complained of lower back pain after being taken by ambulance to the hospital, the county Department of Beaches and Harbors said in a statement.

A grounds maintenance worker who has been with the department for more than 15 years was driving the pickup truck, according to the statement. The worker had just finished cleaning a parking lot and was driving south along the beach when he was flagged down by a beachgoer for another maintenance need.

The worker turned the truck to respond to the new call when one of the pickup's wheels struck the victim, according to the statement.

The driver of the vehicle was removed from the rest of his normal activities Friday while the incident was under investigation, Beaches and Harbors spokeswoman Carol Baker said.

Offiicals believe the man will recover, but Jane Vincent said she still feels sick after witnessing the incident.

"I almost threw up," she told KTLA. "It's horrible, everybody thought he was dead."