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Woman dies in mowing accident

Thursday, August 1, 2002

A Highland woman was killed July 26 when she apparently became the victim of a freak accident while mowing her yard.

According to Mack Thompson, investigator for the Arkansas State Police, Mary Lou Hampton, 62, was discovered by her parents the evening of July 29 trapped on her riding lawn mower under a deck in her back yard on White Oak Circle. Thompson said Hampton's parents became concerned when they were unable to reach her by telephone and went to her home to check on her.

Thompson said Hampton had apparently been mowing her yard when she attempted to mow under the edge of the deck and became trapped when the mower accelerated forward and pinned her at chest level.

Thompson said scuff marks from Hampton's tennis shoes indicated she struggled to free herself and in the process hit the key and turned the mower off.

Sharp County Deputy Coroner Bob Booth said Hampton was knocked backward over the seat, pinning her in such a way that the weight of the deck was pressing on her abdomen and diaphragm, making her unable to breathe. Booth said Hampton apparently died from suffocation.

Thompson said Hampton was wedged so tightly under the deck the rear tires of the lawn mower had to be deflated before officers were able to pull her free.

According to Thompson there is no evidence of foul play and the incident is being treated as a tragic accident. He said the condition of the body indicated Hampton died sometime July 26.

Officers with Highland Police and Sharp County Sheriff's Department assisted with the incident.



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