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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.

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: MyFoxPHOENIX.com

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Comments


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  • Anonymous

    A horrible accident that could’ve been avoided. We mow our lawn when our kids are either napping, sleeping for the night or I’m indoors with them while the hubby does the actual mowing.

    One thing though now she’s gonna be a war amp. I don’t get the War Amps… they are mostly kids who lost limbs through accidents, I don’t understand why they have that WAR part since they didn’t go anywhere near a military recruitment facility.

  • Anonymous

    I would hate to be wearing  Harold Stamper’s shoes today I know he feels horrible.  What a nightmare but this is a reoccuring event that happens every year.

  • Anonymous

    Need more details. Was anybody watching the girl? The story makes no mention of anyone being present other than the girl and Stamper.

    Did he just decide to go out and mow his lawn while leaving the 3-year-old unattended in the house? Was someone else there and did THEY drop the ball?

    Gotta keep an eye on those kids, people.

    On the plus side, the girl’s got a new, sure-fire conversion starter.  

  • Oh my gosh. How awful. Poor grandpa!

    On the plus side, I can show this article to my husband, who is feeling really guilty after accidentally burning his four year old niece with a sparkler yesterday. I can say, “Hey, at least you didn’t run her over with a lawn mower….”

  • Anonymous

    I have no children, but was the oldest child in my family and I have many nieces and nephews. When small children get excited they tend to run around in wild  and illogical (to an adult) paths.

    I can just see the poor little girl running to the poor unaware grandfather. It makes me want to cry knowing the healing the girl, her grand dad, and her family will have to do until they come to acceptance.

  • Anonymous

    People look at me like I’m stupid when I say i won’t mow our lawn while the 10 yr old watches the 6 yr old.This is why the lawn gets mowed when the kids aren’t home or an adult keeps them locked in the house while another adult mows.My kids are worth more than the damn grass being short.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I feel bad for that poor little girl but HOLY MOLY I feel just TERRIBLE for that poor man!  Wow, can you imagine how he must feel… and from the sounds of it, nobody did anything wrong, it was just a horrific accident.  Although I’m sure that poor Mr. Stamper is blaming himself enough for everyone in the whole world… 🙁

  • MM222

    WOW!  this is so sad, when I was four my grandmother had a seat that was added to their lawn mower so i could ride with her, we hit a bump and it threw me off, my toes were severly severed, however we had a new young surgeon in town way back then and he was able to reattach my toes… this is a sad story and no one means for it to happen, but I do not let my babies go outside either now while thier father is mowing the grass, they use to ask why they oculdn’t just play outside while he cut the grass, and I just show them my scars…. 🙁  i feel so sorry for the child but also for the poor grandfather who I am sure has a broken heart 🙁  how sad.

  • hershey

    This is sad. 

    On the plus side, the grandfather didn’t go inside and drink a beer while they girl lay underneath. He didn’t wait until her mother came home and then tell her “I think something is wrong with your daughter.” He didn’t put her in bed, cover her up, and turn up the TV so he couldn’t hear her screaming. This is a responsible, caring grandfather. People can’t think of EVERYdamnTHING. Give the grandparents some latitude. The tot was probably suppose to be watching TV and slipped out while grandma went to the bathroom or to make her a sandwich or to get her a pillow to lay on the floor…who knows? 

    I was struck that grandpa “threw” the mower off of her. Riding lawn mowers are heavy! He is a hero for saving his grandchild. This is what REAL parents do and how they act when faced with a tragic situation. This baby is loved! She will be fine.

  • hershey

    This is sad. 

    On the plus side, the grandfather didn’t go inside and drink a beer while they girl lay underneath. He didn’t wait until her mother came home and then tell her “I think something is wrong with your daughter.” He didn’t put her in bed, cover her up, and turn up the TV so he couldn’t hear her screaming. This is a responsible, caring grandfather. People can’t think of EVERYdamnTHING. Give the grandparents some latitude. The tot was probably suppose to be watching TV and slipped out while grandma went to the bathroom or to make her a sandwich or to get her a pillow to lay on the floor…who knows? 

    I was struck that grandpa “threw” the mower off of her. Riding lawn mowers are heavy! He is a hero for saving his grandchild. This is what REAL parents do and how they act when faced with a tragic situation. This baby is loved! She will be fine.

  • And he himself could have been severely injured in throwing the lawn mower off of her. He put his own life at risk to save her.
    I think she will recover from this better than her grandpa will. He’s going to carry a heavy heart for the rest of his life about this.

  • Sounds like a case of bad driving. People back up without looking all the time. But WTF? You should be LOOKING where you’re going.

    You should not mow in reverse, ever. The blades do not cut as efficiently in reverse!

    Just watch, he’ll probably sue john deere now!

  • FrikkenFrak

    Wow…..this poor family.  My heart really, really goes out to them.  I can’t imagine the way the grandfather feels.  I wish I could give them all a hug.   : ( 

  • pikeman

    This was an accident and a terrible situation for all involved. I really feel for the grandfather and the little girl.

  • pikeman

    It never said he was backing up, although he may have been. It sounds like he was turning to do another pass and she ran under the tire.

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  • Anonymous

    Where my parents live they fine you for letting your grass get long (or if clippings fall in the street).  I think its totally inane.  Some of the elderly and sick can’t get the kids to do it right away, and wind up fined.  Suburbia sucks.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always wondered if there isn’t a way mower manufacturers can add a kind of screen over the blade under their mowers that could be easily removed for cleaning out the grass, but left on for mowing purposes.  A screen that would allow grass to go in to hit the blade, but prevent the blades from coming into contact with human limbs. I think something like this would save a lot of children and even adults the misfortune of experiencing the pain and horror of these types of accidents. It’d probably be a cheap safety solution too as the screen could be made with something as simple as chicken wiring like you see used to build pens to protect chickens.

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    Sounds like i found someplace to dump my clippings, one block from your house !!

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    ‘it would clog with people parts :/

  • Anonymous

    Thank God I live in the country.

  • Alicia

    This is awful, that poor little one and the grandpa, omg. He’s got to be feeling so bad right now 🙁

    On the plus side, at least it wasn’t done intentionally like a lot of the stories here on DD about a child being hurt. I pray for a quick recovery for her and also that her grandpa doesn’t let his guilt take over his life. It was an accident.

  • HOA’s are the DEVIL!

  • Anonymous

    Why did the other adult let her”surprise” the grandpa what friggen idiots I never let my girl out when daddy is doin lawnwork those lazy ass idiots I hope she’s better and grandpa also

  • Anonymous

    Here here!

  • Anonymous

    Toddlers are fast. One could easily be look behind to the right, then the left, start backing up, and within those few seconds, a little one could run up behind you on the side you aren’t looking at. I’ve turned my back for less than 5 seconds and had my toddler open the door and run outside in that time. I don’t blame the grandparents for this, accidents happen.

  • Anonymous

    Like I just posted up above, I’ve turned my back for a few seconds and had my toddler run out the front door. I seriously doubt gramma just let the kid out or wasn’t watching her.

  • Anonymous

    lurkernomo, You’re 100% right. Toddlers are surprisingly quick on their feet. What a horrible accident. The girl is very young and will adapt. Kids are resilient. On the other hand, the poor grandparents are most likely going to be beating themselves up for the rest of their days. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  • Anonymous

    I got into an argument with my husband. He wanted to mow the lawn while my 2 year old played outside. One day he took her out and I heard a lawn being mowed and assumed it was a neighbor until I heard her screaming “daddy” and crying. She was scared shitless and had taken refuge atop the picnic table.
    I was pretty mad.
    We only have a push mower though. 

  • Anonymous

    My dad’s neighbor got fined for too long grass but it was the city itself that did it. Sometimes the city’s code enforcement person comes driving around in their little white car and suddenly half the neighborhood is out mowing. They were here a couple times lurking about and peering in the windows while we were putting in new floors (made lots of noise so I think someone complained) but no citations ever issued. To summarize, they suck.

  • FrikkenFrak

    Actually, the article says the little girl went out to surprise him.  I didn’t see anything that said another adult allowed her to go out and surprise him. 

    I’m with lurkenomo.  I swear, as a parent, you can be the most conscientious person on the damn planet and things can, and do, happen.  Unless you’re surgically attached to your child at the hip, it is impossible to be everywhere at all times.  And can you imagine a kids life if you were?  “Come on Suzie, come into the bathroom while I pee so you’re not out of my sight”.

  • My husband and a bunch of his college buddies rented a house in an HOA neighborhood. They would literally measure your lawn and if it was over some number I can’t remember they’d fine you. It was fricking ridiculous.

  • Since I’m a single mother, scenarios like this are why I hire a guy to mow my lawn. Poor girl…poor grandpa.

  • Anonymous

    My heart goes out to the little girl and the grandfather – what a horrendous thing to have happen. I must say, I read the story as if the little girl (and a parent…?) stopped by to visit, since it says “…HIS home,” and “…she went out to SURPRISE him…” implying she wasn’t there when he went out to mow the lawn. So, whoever was with the child in the house really screwed up letting her go see grandpa; couldn’t they hear the mower?

  • melb1970

    well said, very well said. tear…

  • melb1970

    In my local community we have an elderly gentleman who accidentally ran over his grandson with a bush hog seven years ago. His  5 year old grandson wasn’t so lucky to live or considering his injuries was blessed enough to die- all in how you look at it i suppose. This poor man aged twenty years in 6 months, within a year he took early retirement, within two his wife had left him- now he drinks ALOT. His grief has destroyed him, I hope this grandfather has the faith to sustain him.

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