A woman sleeping on a beach in Oceanside, California, has died after being run over by a piece of construction equipment, police told CNN.

The driver of a Caterpillar wheel loader was removing pipes from a dredging project at about 10 a.m. on Monday morning when he felt a bump, according to Oceanside Police Department Spokesman Tom Bussey.

Bussey said the driver turned around and realized he had run over the woman.

Police taped off a triangular area around the tractor, which weighs about 50,000 pounds, while they investigated.

A surfer told CNN affiliate KGTV that he saw the woman hours before the accident.

"The lady was leaning up against the wall -- looked like she was holding herself up," Jay Burneo told KGTV. "I was concerned about her and we asked her if she was OK and she seemed OK."

Authorities think the woman may have been homeless.

She has not been identified, but is believed to be in her 40s, Bussey said.

He said she was fully clothed and was not wearing beach attire.

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