SHERRILLS FORD, N.C. — A 72-year-old man is recovering in the intensive care unit after he was pinned under his riding lawn mower for 30 hours before his son found him.

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Kenneth Hewitt Sr. was working to replace a belt on the mower and had it lifted up on some bricks when it pinned him Wednesday afternoon in Sherrills Ford, according to his family.

Hewitt’s son, Kenneth Hewitt Jr., said he got the feeling that something was wrong when he repeatedly called his dad and couldn’t reach him by phone.


The elder Hewitt was so dehydrated he could barely speak when his son found him around 7 p.m. Thursday.

“The motor part was actually pinned on his chest. Almost up on his neck across his chest on his left side,” Hewitt Jr. said.

The 72-year-old spent Wednesday night and much of the next day unable to free himself.

“Luckily we were very fortunate that it wasn’t a typical August day here. It wasn’t very humid, 80 degrees. It could have been a lot worse,” Hewitt Jr. said.

His son said he has nine broken ribs and issues with his kidney as well. He’s expected to be in the hospital for several days.

Both father and son are giving thanks that he was found in time.

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“It’s kind of what my pop said. It’s crazy what you’ll talk about and think about while you’re under there. He’ll have a different perspective I’m sure,” Hewitt Jr. said.