Man Killed in West Spokane Cemetery By Out of Control Lawn Tractor - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man Killed in West Spokane Cemetery By Out of Control Lawn Tractor

SPOKANE, Wash. - A 44-year-old cemetery employee died early Friday when the lawn tractor he was operating dropped off an eight-to-ten foot embankment and landed on top of him.

Co-workers found the worker trapped beneath the machine about 7:20 a.m. Friday and said he appeared to be breathing at that time.  However, fire department employees pronounced him dead of apparent head injuries shortly after they arrived at the scene.

The worker had been mowing grass at Greenwood Memorial Cemetery, 211 N. Government Way, in an upper terrace area designated "hand mow only," Deputy Mike Beckman reported.

The deputy said the machine the victim was operating has hand levers for steering, rather than a steering wheel.  He said it appeared the machine bounced after hitting a depression.  A wheel may have lost traction sending the mower over the embankment.

Described by employees as a "good worker," the victim had been kept on at the cemetery after graduating from a work release program.  Name of the victim will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office.

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