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Homeless Woman Sleeping In California Park Killed After Being Run Over By Landscaper

  A homeless woman was found dead in a 12-acre California park last weekend after a local landscaper called authorities minutes after fatall...

 A homeless woman was found dead in a 12-acre California park last weekend after a local landscaper called authorities minutes after fatally mowing over her while she slept in overgrown vegetation.

Christine Chavez, 27, was pronounced dead July 8 at Beard Brook Park in Modesto, California, by local police, who said an unidentified employee with Grover Landscape Services, Inc. driving a John Deere tractor with a pull-behind mower accidentally ran over her while cutting the grass.

Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Bear told the Modesto Bee that the crew member was working in the park when he “noticed a body in the grass he had already made a pass through,” adding it was unknown if the landscaper involved in the “terrible accident” did not see the woman sleeping in the field without a tent.

Police reportedly completed an investigation stating it appears to have been an accident, and no charges have been filed.

Members of Chavez’s family described the area where Chavez died as parched with overgrown weeds that reached just below knee level.

Her father, Christopher Chavez, said he recovered “many pieces” of his daughter’s body from the park. He told ABC10 that law enforcement “didn’t pick up everything.”

“I went there, and I still have pieces of bones — like pieces of her skull and some teeth,” Chavez told The Modesto Bee. “It’s terrible.”

Grover Landscaping Services told Fox 40 the company fully cooperated with law enforcement authorities during the investigation.

“In a dry, overgrown area, our operator discovered the body of a woman impacted by the pull-behind mower, at which time he contacted the Modesto Police Department,” the statement reads.

“We are deeply saddened by these events. Our hearts and sympathies go out to her friends and family. Grover is providing counseling services to the operator due to this traumatic experience,” it continued.

The landscaping contractor had been performing weed abatement and fire prevention services for E. & J. Gallo Winery, the largest wine company in the world, which acquired the Beard Brook Park property located nearby less than 24 hours before Chavez’s death.

The city of Modesto reportedly had swapped land with the winery after months of negotiations. Beard Brook Park, which was once a designated homeless encampment, was traded for waterfront property held by Gallo that the city planned to transform into an estimated $6.3 million three-quarter-mile riverwalk in the Tuolumne River Regional Park.

Gallo spokeswoman Krista Noonan confirmed the incident in a statement involving the hired contractor, adding the winery fully cooperated with the investigation.

“Gallo acquired the Beard Brook Park property in Modesto on Friday, July 7, 2023. On Saturday, July 8, 2023, a landscaping contractor was hired to perform weed abatement and fire prevention services. There was an accident at approximately 12:00 p.m. involving the contractor’s tractor and an individual who was not visible and laying in a tall, weeded area,” the statement reads, in part, according to The Modesto Bee.

“Gallo expresses its sincere condolences to the family of the victim,” it continued.

Chavez’s death marks the second fatality involving a homeless individual and a contractor crew.

In August 2018, a Caltrans employee operating heavy machinery along the southbound side of Highway 99 rolled over 32-year-old Shannon Bigley while clearing a homeless encampment. Bigley reportedly was asleep when the driver removed the presumed unoccupied belongings.

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