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Genoa Township, MI — Doctors had to amputate the left leg of a 3-year-old girl after her grandfather accidentally ran over her on a John Deere riding lawn mower. She reportedly approached the mower from behind wanting a ride.

“She went out to surprise him and he didn’t see her,” Brighton Area Fire Department Lt. Curt Ruf said. “She got hit by the back tire and fell. The blade of the lawn mower went on top of her.”

Ruf said the girl’s grandfather, Harold Stamper, 63, was mowing the lawn at his home Wednesday afternoon when he began backing up to make another pass.

“It was definitely an accident,”  Ruf said. Ruf added that Stamper “threw” the lawn mower off the girl, whose left leg was nearly severed.

The child reportedly suffered massive injuries and lost a lot of blood. The blade cut the upper part of the girls leg and cut her left arm before the grandfather could get her out from under the mower. The girl had multiple lacerations and fractures from her shoulder to her toes. She is reportedly recuperating at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Ruf said.

“The girl is recovering, but she did lose part of her leg,” Ruf is reported to have said. “The doctors did everything they could to save (her leg), but there was too much damage done.”

Stamper was also transported to the hospital for a panic attack as a result of the incident, according to police. Stamper is said to have a history of cardiac and diabetic issues. He was not charged in the incident.

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Safety-related websites offer tips to prevent lawn mower injuries to children. Big on the list are making sure they’re indoors or at a safe distance well away from the area being mowed, not mowing in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and making sure you look carefully for children behind you when mowing in reverse. That is good advice.

Three-Year-Old Girl Run Over by Riding Lawn Mower:

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