When summer rolls around it almost results in more yard work. It’s sunny and hot, the grass is green and that means it’s time to get out the lawnmower. Though lawn maintenance is typically uneventful, that is sadly not always the case and it can come as a real shock when something as simple as mowing the grass turns deadly. That’s just what happened this past week in Mississippi, where two incidents involving lawnmowers left one man seriously injured and another dead.
The first incident occurred in Yazoo City, MS, earlier this week when a man died in a lawnmower accident. According to police, the man, Ronnie Warren, was operating a zero-turn mower to cut grass. The homeowners say they noticed later in the evening that something was wrong when they realized that they hadn’t seen Warren in some time. They left their house to see if they could find him and discovered that Warren was trapped under the mower.
Authorities say that the homeowners attempted to revive Warren, but it was too late. Investigators believe that Warren was cutting grass on the edge of a steep hill when the mower hit something, perhaps a bump or a hole, and lost balance. When that happened the mower, and Warren, rolled down the hill, with the mower landing on top of Warren. The man died of a broken neck and severe head injuries.
The second lawnmower incident occurred the same day in a different part of the state. Police in Jones County, MS say that a man was seriously injured after he was hit by an oncoming vehicle while cutting grass. Emergency responders say they were called to the scene of an accident Tuesday evening on Highway 29 just outside of Soso, MS. When the volunteer firefighters arrived they discovered a white jeep parked next to a damaged lawnmower.
Investigators say that the accident occurred when the white Jeep took a sharp curve and lost control, eventually leaving the roadway and striking the lawnmower from behind. The force of the accident was enough to push the lawnmower several yards before it stopped next to a tree. Though those in the jeep were unharmed, the man on the lawnmower suffered serious injuries and had to be transported by ambulance to a local medical center for treatment.
Both cases, though very different, demonstrate some of the harms that can occur to those out cutting grass. According to consumer safety experts, more than 80,000 people go to emergency rooms each and every year because of lawnmower injuries. Even more troubling is that out of this number, roughly 17,000 children and teens suffer lawnmower-related injuries, typically because children are assigned responsibility for what appear to be easy outdoor chores. Of these, 600 or so incidents result in amputation and 75 result in death. Though lawnmowers may be commonplace, never forget that they have the potential to cause very serious harm.