The Leiper Fork community in Tennessee is mourning the loss of a local teenager killed in a lawn mower accident.
According to authorities, 15-year-old Jacob Combs, was found unresponsive in a creek after being pinned down by a lawn mower. He had been mowing a large piece of land in Leiper’s Fork, that belonged to a family friend. According to his grandfather, John Rice, Jacob was going to surprise the family friend by having everything mowed on the property. Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long, stated the fatal accident is under investigation by the medical examiner. The community has taken it upon themselves to raise money for the family by creating a GoFundMe page in Jacob’s honor. The donation site has raised more than $14,000 in two days for funeral expenses, surpassing the initial goal of $10,000. Jacob was the second eldest of six children, living with their single mom, Traci Combs.
Jacob, known as “the family protector” who looked out for his siblings and mother, attended Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, and was known as an inspiration to all. Jacob was a freshman, soon to be sophomore, and played freshman football last year.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, it is important to remember the dangers of using a lawnmower.
Safety features in lawn mowers are intended to prevent injuries from occurring, which is why experts recommend following instructions when using a lawnmower. The main reasons for injuries include rollovers, crushing, lacerations or accidental amputations by the blades, and burn injuries due to overheating or engine fire.
According to Statistics, each year over 800 children in the United Stare alone are run over by riding lawn mowers, and more than 600 of those incidents result in amputations. When it comes to lawnmower deaths, 75 people are killed and 20,000 injured, one in five deaths involving a child.
Some safety guidelines one can follow while mowing include:
- Use mowers that have automatic shut-off abilities, such as those that stop all motion once the handle is released.
- Make sure your mower includes an auto shut off when the person mowing is not in the seat.
- Do not remove the grass catcher or unclog the discharge chute until the mower is completely shut off.
- Turn off the lawnmower completely and make sure children are away from the area when it cools off.
- Wear closed toe shoes, hearing protection, and tight clothes.
- Never allow children to play with or push mower, even if it’s turned off.
- Pick up debris such as rocks or toys before mowing to prevent the blades from running over objects.
- Make sure you and your children stay away from the exhaust. Usually, lawn mowers reach temperatures of up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning anyone who is near this exhaust could suffer severe burns.
- Be careful of sharp cornering or hills that can cause mowers to tip over.
Remember, simple precautions can save your life.