Yard care expert offers advice to stay safe on riding lawn mowers

In the wake of two deadly lawn mower accidents in Southeast Texas, one expert in lawn care is asking others to be extremely cautious.

BEAUMONT - Last week was the second death related to a lawn mowing accident in Southeast Texas this year.

The recent death of Bridge City Municipal Judge Jimmy Scales was a tragedy to his family and community members.

Last month, a Jasper County woman, 39-year-old Stephanie Eddins drowned after a lawnmower she was riding--drove into the Angelina River.

Those are very sad stories to Ron Shoppa, director of facilities for Shoppa's Farm Supply.

He says this is also a reminder to take advantage of all safety features equipped on lawn mowers.

"The chute that discharges the grass, you want a good flap on that, to make sure that cuts down on stuff being discharged far away which can do some damage to a car, house, etc. Your seat needs to be locked into place, use a seatbelt if your unit has one," Shoppa said.

Shoppa says another thing to keep in mind is being familiar with the level of terrain before you start mowing on commercial or residential property.

He emphasizes that operating equipment that is properly maintained can help when mowing near ditches or hills.

"The weight will shift based on the pitch and the tractor will roll, and if you don't have a roll bar on, a lot of these pieces of equipment come with roll bars as a safety feature, if you don't have up you could really get hurt," Shoppa said.

Bridge City Police tell us that an autopsy report has not been completed in Judge Scales’ death.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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