2 recent deaths show the dangers of lawn mowers


The whir of a lawn mower is one of the sounds of summer – but the machines are also really dangerous.

About 80,000 Americans suffer injuries from lawn mowers each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And that's just "lawn mowers" – when you include other lawn and garden equipment and power lawn equipment, the numbers climb closer to 200,000 injuries per year.

And more than 600 children have limbs amputated every year because of lawn mowers, the Amputee Coalition says.

So the mundane routine of mowing could be a lot more dangerous than you think – and people need to pay more attention in order to stay safe, the Coalition says.

Recent incidents

A 79-year-old male was killed in Atwater, Minnesota on Thursday morning while operating a riding lawn mower, according to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office. The man became pinned underneath the machine in a ditch, the sheriff's office said.

A North Dakota man was killed in a similar incident earlier this week.

Falling off of a riding mower and getting stuck underneath is a common cause of fatal incidents with riding lawn mowers, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Children are at risk

Lawn mowers can cause devastating injuries that often require reconstructive surgery and may take months or even years to heal, the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

They conducted a study on mower-related injuries to children in the U.S. from 1990-2004. According to the study, there were an estimated 140,700 lawn mower–related injuries that led to emergency rooms visits for kids (20 years and under) during the 15-year period. That's about 9,400 injuries every year.

“I’ve seen broken and dislocated bones, deep cuts, missing fingers and toes, limb amputations, burns, and eye injuries from lawn mower accidents,” Phillip Haeck, President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons said. “The best way to treat a lawn mower-related injury is to prevent it.”

The academy says children should not be allowed to use a push lawn mower until they are at least 12 – and when it comes to riding mowers, kids should be 16 or older.

Next Up

School lunch cafeteria flickr

MPS changes course, will provide meals to Edison students for distance learning

The district had initially said meals would not be offered during the remote learning period.


Highest county case rates in Minnesota remain in rural areas

Just one of the seven metro counties have a case rate above 30.

st. paul guns 1

Charges: Teen tried to pull 2 guns on St. Paul officers during arrest

Police are asking for help in reducing the number of illegal guns on city streets.

Russell Wilson

Coller: Where does Russ rank among cursed Vikings things?

Matthew Coller's work can be found daily at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 12.16.08 PM

Missing: 13-year-old girl last seen in Willmar on September 11

Police say she ran away from a girls group home.

rochester school board meeting mask

Ban for those who don't wear masks at Rochester School Board meetings

The board will have people trespassed, which comes with a one year ban from all school property.

Target store snow

Target to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for 2021 holiday season

The Minnesota retailer has seen its business surge during the pandemic.

Darren McWright Osborne - Dunn County WI - crop

Father of man accused in quadruple slaying now charged

The victims were found dead in an SUV that had been abandoned in a Wisconsin cornfield.

michaels brooklyn center

Brooklyn Center PD, Michaels discriminated against Black teen, state finds

The boy had gone to apply for a job. Instead a manager called 911 and he was arrested.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 10.49.10 AM

Minneapolis rock band raising money to replace stolen trailer of equipment

A GoFundMe has reached around $2,200 of its $18,500 goal as of Thursday morning.


Woman found dead underneath overturned lawn mower

Police are investigating the death of a woman found under an overturned ride-on mower in Hennepin County.

Who can cut it? Lawn mower demolition derby featured at fair

There wasn't much grass to be seen at the Goodhue County Fair in Zumbrota, Minn., where lawn mower riders gathered Tuesday night. But they weren't there to mow grass. WCCO photojournalist Joe Mears captured the story of the fair’s first-ever Lawn Mower Derby.


Neighbor rescues man stuck beneath lawn mower

A 68-year-old man in Sauk Centre found himself stuck under a riding lawn mower after it tipped over.