Local News

No charges filed after toddler dies in mower accident

Posted October 4, 2011 1:05 p.m. EDT
Updated October 5, 2011 8:08 a.m. EDT

— 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."