Tabor City child dies in lawn mower accident

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Submitted: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 2:52am
Updated: Thu, 08/18/2011 - 4:04pm

TABOR CITY, NC– In what neighbors say was a tragic accident, Mario Lewis Jr. lost his life Wednesday afternoon.

Tabor City Police received a call around 4 p.m. about the incident involving Mario and a lawn mower at 322 West 3rd Street.

The man on the mower with Mario was family friend Jamie Thomas.

“He put the child on the lawn mower with himself and cut two or three rounds and went to the back yard,” said Tabor City Police Chief Donald Dowless. “He said that he stopped to move a trampoline, put the child off of the lawn mower and told him to leave it alone. While he was moving the trampoline the child somehow or another got the mower in gear, the blades were engaged, being an old lawn mower, and it ran over the child.”

According to Peggy Watson, a neighbor of the family, Mario was at her home no more than 30 minutes before the incident. When she heard about what happened she rushed to 3rd Street and what she saw was appalling.

“It was a very gruesome scene in the backyard,” said Watson. “Actually I was there when they removed some of the bodily mass.”

“It’s a freak accident but as you ride around, if you look you’ll be surprised at the amount of people that have their kids on lawn mowers riding them around,” said Dowless. “It’s very unfortunate that this happened to the child.”


  • Guest7969 says:

    think they should SUE the lawnmower manufacturer…it’s THEIR fault for making a lawnmower a child can get on!

  • guest111 says:

    The child went over to the mower, as I understand it. He played with the controls and started the mower moving. It was an accident. You are a cruel, mean spirited person.

  • guest111 says:

    Please don’t write comments like this for the family to read. You are so out of line.

  • Guest says:

    I really feel sorry for the family. I have never lost a child, but I have lost a family member. Ones cannot express the emptiness that you feel. I send my prayers out to the family of the child and to the other person that was outside with the child. I know he is hurting also.

  • Guest says:

    According to the local paper, the child’s mother, who was on house arrest while out on bond for stabbing his father to death with a butcher knife, took the child to the hospital. I assume violating her parole?

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    Touche’. I do dislike children…intensely. Doesn’t mean I want them run over with lawn mowers…unless of course they cry while I’m eating in a nice restaurant.

  • GuestLee says:

    My comments were not intended for the family. If I offended them, or you, I apologize.

  • guesty says:

    They could also sue the grass seed distributor because if it hadn’t been sold & planted it wouldn’t need to be cut. They should also go after code enforcement since if they don’t cut the grass they could face legal action against them. Don’t forget to go after Exxon or whoever sold the gas that was powering the mower. There might be a few others they could go after but that is all I can come up with now.

  • Guest11 says:

    I was commenting to wilmingtonMAJ, not you at all, GuestLee. I can’t believe someone would post what he/she did and I’m even more shocked that WWAY put the post up for people to read.

  • GuestLee says:

    I think the parole officer will overlook that as a parole violation since it was an emergency life or death situation. I doubt they will see this as violating her parole, since her child died from the wounds he received in this accident.

  • Guestzento says:

    I agree with everything you said, it was a stupid action and it is NOT OK to ride a child on a lawn mower!!

  • Guest says:

    Yes she was on house arrest for killing the father of her child and she is on house arrest, but what I am hoping that you would violate your parole to take your severely injured child to the hospital.

  • Ali says:

    That was a very crass thing to say; I’d say cyber harrassment. If you don’t care about children stay off sites about children.

  • GuestLee says:

    What do you care? You already said you hate kids anyway. There’s probably a few buried in your backyard somewhere.

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    Children shouldn’t be allowed outside of their rooms really…I mean they could fall down the steps and hit their head, or inhale second hand smoke, or maybe be in a car accident. They should have to wear full football protective gear and a helmet at all times. And letting a kid ride on a boat…definitely not. Or horseback riding, that can be fatal. Let’s not forget bicycles, those things are death traps. Never know when a drunk driver is going to run over a bike.

    Your comments are idiotic…accidents happen. Everything we do in life has some risk involved, and unless you want to coddle a kid to the point of suffocation, then I suggest you don’t have them.

  • tshine says:

    I agree with you this family needs prayer. So does frog and his family people do nothing but put this young man and most people don’t even know young man. They don’t what he and his family has been through. I know this young very little but I would stand up and fight for him and his family. Thank God this 3 year old little boy is in a better place, he is now in heaven with God and his dad.

  • Kayla says:

    How can you all judge this family the way that some are there are accidents and this was one
    Right now is a time this family needs prayers and friends not people who are going to judge them also this is part of the south do you know how many people let there kids ride on mowers and thongs like that I have done it with my dad my lil one has ride a motorcycle with her papa and she is young does that make me a bad mom NO so the rest of you people need go thank before writtingjust remember what if it was your family and my prayers go out to this family I’m very sorry for happened

  • Dee Patrick says:

    I hope the family of the little boy that died reads this. About a month ago my four year old asked to ride the golf cart with her 5 year old cousin. My 12 year old immediately responded with, “Moma I will take them.”. Well I thought nothing of it. I had even posted on facebook all kids were gone and I was about to get me some peace and quiet. About 30 minutes later a man knocked on my door to inform me I needed to come quick cause my kids were upside down in a canal. I asked the man were they ok and he didn’t respond. I immediately started praying and my heart dropped. I didn’t know what to do. The kids ended up to be ok other than some broken bones but I told that story to say this. Accidents happen so fast. There were folk that said kids should not be on golf carts. People can be so critical until tragedy hits home to them. We need to stop tearing people down and lift them up. We need to start showing the love of Jesus. I don’t know why tragedies happen but what the devil means for bad, Jesus can bring good out of it.

  • Family says:

    I have printed this and will make sure my entire family reads this. Thanks so much for your sincere and truly kind thoughts, as humans we have to keep each other encouraged and hopefully.

  • Guest123 says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with this family and all persons involved. It really serves no purpose to post mean and insensitive comments, especially during such a tragic time when no words can expres the pain and suffering this family must be going through. We all have times of needs when we need others to pray for us and with us. This is one of those times.

  • guest111 says:

    I remember many years ago this happened to a family who let a child ride on the tractor while pulling a bush hog. The child fell off the back of the tractor while it was in forward motion. My heart goes out to this family. It was an accident. Children don’t understand danger and at this age, rarely listen to adults. I hope this family will come together and hold no malice toward the one who was driving the mower. My deepest sympathy to all of you.

    If you must comment on here, please be kind and gentle. This is not the time for accusations or condemnation of guilt. It was an accident and nothing more.

  • Mky Jct voter says:

    Putting a child on a mower is a stupid action. Calling the result; be it death or injury an accident is wrong. That adult should be charged with causing the childs death. It’s was the same as handing the child a loaded gun to play with or letting the child drive a car! All of you saying “tragic accident” must be friends of the man. What about that child who died?

  • kattie says:

    very sorry to hear this…it could happen to anyone though…. prayers are with this family

  • Guest says:

    My heart goes out to the family and the friend. Such a tragic accident that could happen to anyone. Nothing wrong with giving the kids a ride, one just has to take precautions when we do.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    and the very reason every adult should think twice or even three times before putting a youngster on the mower for a spin around the yard.

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