On average, about 95 people are killed each year in lawn-mowing incidents. A worker for New Castle County in Delaware is a recent victim.
Police say 68-year-old James Hagerty, a seasonal employee for the county, was preparing to cut the grass on a hill near a pond in a county park. The lawn tractor he was riding slid down a hill, went over an embankment and overturned. Hagerty was trapped in a creek bed underneath the mower.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says loss of stability is a hazard most often associated with riding mowers. There are 37,000 injuries related to riding mower incidents each year.
The CPSC says fatalities involving riding mowers have several common patterns: The machine tips over and the victim falls under or is run over by the machine.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has a voluntary safety standard for mowers, ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2003.
The CPSC says when using a riding mower, mow up and down slopes, not across them. CPSC tips on riding mower safety can be found here.