Andrea Rody of Sarasota County, Florida was killed Monday in a roadside accident, sources indicate. Rody, 45, was cutting grass with a weed whacker in an overgrown median near her home at the time, sparking complaints that the city may have been responsible for her demise. Rody was struck by Samantha Lax, 20, of Sarasota, Florida and was air rushed to the Bayfront Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at around 1:30 in the afternoon. According to Florida Highway Patrol, charges are pending as an investigation into the incident continues. Whether Rody’s family plans on filing charges against the city remains to be seen.
News reports indicate that Rody was cutting grass outside her home in the median of the 6800 block of Mauna Loa Boulevard around 9:30 A.M. before the crash. The grass had reportedly grown over two feet in length after county officials failed to maintain its height. Rody had apparently complained numerous times about the grass being too high, according to one county report. Annoyed by the overgrowth, Rody took it upon herself to cut the grass with a weed whacker, sources say.
A county worker who noticed Rody cutting the grass that morning told her that he would require a work order before cutting grass, reports claim. Shortly before she was hit, the county worker had acquired the work order and informed Rody, who, reports say, thanked the worker and informed him that she would stop cutting after one more bush.
Rody was subsequently struck by a 2001 Lexus driven by Lax. News sources say that Lax did not see Rody cutting the grass. Florida Highway Patrol reported that Rody was hit by the left front of the car and thrown into the middle of the median. She was rushed by helicopter to the Bayfront Medical Center with critical injuries but was pronounced dead shortly after at 1:14 P.M. It is currently unclear if Rody was in the median or the road when she was struck.
New sources have reported that the median in front of Rody’s home was one of many that went uncut in Sarasota County. The county had been undergoing contract issues with the landscaping company Blooming Landscape and Turf Management. Their contract with the company terminated in May. According to reports, County staff has since taken over responsibilities but do not have the manpower to maintain all the grass patches in the county. On August 1, three local companies were awarded contracts to the cut the grass, reports say, but that it will take around one month for workers to catch up.
It is unclear whether legal charges may be taken against County officials regarding the overgrowth and the accident that occurred on Sunday. “I don’t think you necessarily anticipate an individual taking action on their own to address a situation like this,” a Deputy County Administrator told reporters. “I don’t feel responsible for someone taking action on their own to do something like this. I am very much concerned this happened. I’m very sorry it did happen. I have sympathy for the family, and they have our condolences.”
Rody’s partner has reportedly questioned the speed at which Lax was traveling on Mauna Loa, which, according to reports, has a 25 MPH speed limit. The partner, who has been in mourning since the accident, expressed concern that vehicles were driving at speeds far excessive of the posted limit the morning of the accident.
Read about other pedestrian crashes here.