Worldwide Lawn Mower Accidents
It may be long past the lawn mowing season in the UK and Europe, but across the rest of the world lawnmowers are being brought out of sheds and pressed into service once again, and as you can imagine, this increase in lawnmower use also leads to an increase in accidents involving them. In Milton, New South Wales, Australia, one man lost the tips of three fingers to his lawn mower. He had been mowing the grass outside his property when he put his hand underneath the mower while it was still running. Perhaps because he had only just started mowing the lawn again after a season off he had forgotten how lawnmowers work, or perhaps he just wasn't thinking, but this is the most dangerous thing you can do with a lawn mower. The man was lucky in that his fingertips were recovered at the scene and taken with him to hospital for reattachment, but it took three ambulances, including a helicopter, to get him to a hospital that could perform the surgery. Here's hoping this was a lesson learned the hard way, and he will think twice before putting anything near the moving blades of a lawn mower.
In Anderson, Indiana, a 12-year-old girl died a month after being run over by a riding lawn mower. The girl was run over by a John Deere riding lawn mower when her guardian was pulling bushes out of the yard; the mower blades were not in operation at the time but the machine went straight over her. The girl collapsed the next day at her home and was taken to hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery for a blood clot on the brain. She was placed on life support after the operation, but this was withdrawn three weeks later and she died. The girl's guardian has been arrested and charged with neglect.
Sometimes lawn mower related accidents are no fault of the operator, but are caused by the actions of others who have no connection to the injured party. In Denison, Texas, a man was left hospitalised after he was hit by a drunk driver while mowing his lawn. Mark Marcum was on his riding lawn mower, when a pickup truck mounted a kerb, drove through a church car park, hit a recycling bin and veered into his yard, knocking him off the mower and leaving him with serious injuries. The drunk driver, named as Johnnie Metcalf, fled the scene and was later found a few blocks away in his vehicle. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, intoxicated assault causing serious bodily injury and is in jail awaiting trial.
Another habitual drink driver was sentenced to three years in prison for his antics which included driving a riding lawn mower while drunk, which he crashed, causing injuries to himself but luckily no-one else. Witnesses of the incident said Jonathan Edward Barlow, of Morganton, North Carolina, was holding a can of beer at the time, and appeared to have injured his hand and head in the crash. With a blood alcohol limit nearly three times the legal limit it is no wonder he did not realise he had hit his head. This plus two additional incidents saw him convicted of habitual driving while impaired, felony hit and run and felony larceny, which earned him a minimum of three years in prison.
Although we are safe from lawn mower accidents in the UK for another couple of months, hopefully these reminders of how dangerous lawn mowers can be will serve to reduce the incidence of lawnmower accidents next year.