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No charges filed after toddler dies in mower accident

Posted October 4, 2011
Updated October 5, 2011

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— Columbus County authorities said Tuesday that no criminal charges will be filed following the Aug. 23 death of a 3-year-old in a lawn mower accident.

Mario Lewis Jr. died of massive head trauma after a riding mower ran over him in his backyard, authorities said.

Jamie Devon Todd had borrowed the mower from a relative and was cutting people's grass to earn some extra money. He didn't know that the mower had a malfunction and that it sometimes slipped into gear, authorities said.

Todd had given the boy a ride on the mower, then began to mow the grass in the boy’s yard. When he put the mower in neutral so he could move a trampoline, authorities said, he heard Mario scream and saw the boy running from the mower, which then ran over him and injured his leg.

Authorities said Todd tried to pull the mower off the boy, but in doing so, the blade angled upward and hit Mario in the head.

"The death of such a young child under these circumstances is horrific, yet the facts lead us to the inescapable conclusion that this was a tragic accident with an unforeseen consequence," Columbus County District Attorney Jon David said in a statement. "Justice requires that no criminal charges be filed."

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  • ligonmaterial23 Oct 5, 2011

    This changes my mind about letting little man rid with me . I may still let him play on it when its off but man I just dont know what i would do . I think it would be better if they came out with a harness to strap the kids to the adult but any way you look at its still dangerous

  • agglover Oct 5, 2011

    THERE ARE ALOT OF PEOPLE WHO LET THEIR CHILDREN RIDE THE LAWN MOWER WITH THEM. THIS WAS JUST A FREAK ACCIDENT AND THIS MAN HAD NO CLUE THAT THE LAWN MOWER WAS MESSED UP. MY TWO LITTLE NEPHEWS LIKE RIDING AND THEY ARE 7 AND 4 AND WE WILL RIDE THEM WITH THE BLADES OFF.

  • raysson Oct 4, 2011

    what parent in their right state of mind would let a toddler near dangerous equipment,like a lawn mower and why would he let this toddler on his machine for a ride....where was the common sense!
    That toddler should have been in the safety of the house and NOT outside in the yard during operating this machine.

  • somey Oct 4, 2011

    What a nightmare....Prayers to both families

  • reincarnatedasme Oct 4, 2011

    A tragic accident that should never have happened unless the safety devices were disabled........but I do agree with the decision to not pursue criminal charges. The owner, however shoud be held criminally neglegent for disabling the safety features.

  • pdsweet Oct 4, 2011

    "When he put the mower in neutral so he could move a trampoline, authorities said, he heard Mario scream and saw the boy running from the mower, which then ran over him and injured his leg."

    It sounds like someone had disabled the safety switch as most riding lawn mowers will turn off when you get off the seat. Which if the safety switch was working, would have shut the mower off thus stopping the blades from turning.

  • buffalobills-last-roundup Oct 4, 2011

    what exactly made this guy think that it was a good idea to give a ride to a 3 yr old on a mower, while he was cutting grass and leave the toddler unattended on the mower, while the blades are still engaged?

    "The death of such a young child under these circumstances is horrific, yet the facts lead us to the inescapable conclusion that this was a tragic accident with an unforeseen consequence," Columbus County District Attorney Jon David said in a statement. "Justice requires that no criminal charges be filed."

    i call bull on the d.a.

    whats the difference between what this guy did and leaving the poor kid unattended with a loaded gun?

  • Vita Brevis Ars Longa Oct 4, 2011

    What will happen to that mower now, would you want it back after this? Could the mower's owner be sued since the machine had a known malfunction? What a tragic story

  • 007KnightRider Oct 4, 2011

    So sad! My thoughts and prayers are with the families.

  • puzzled Oct 4, 2011

    This is heartbreaking. This has really cost two lives. The man on the mower will never be okay again. Accidents are so freaky. They happen to all of us, never of this severity I pray.

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