Chanceford Twp. man killed in mower accident; third such recent death

Christopher Dornblaser, and Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

A Chanceford Township man died Saturday after being pinned by a lawn mower, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

James Howard, 48, of Gipe Road, was loading a riding lawn mower onto a trailer when it accidentally rolled onto him at approximately 1:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the coroner's office. He's the third person to die in a mower-related accident in York County recently.

Deputy Coroner Tania Zech was dispatched to the scene on the 2100 block of Delta Road in Chanceford Township about 2 p.m. Howard had been found unresponsive and could not be resuscitated, the release states.

Zech certified the cause of death as traumatic asphyxiation, and she ruled the death accidental.

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Two other people in York County have died in similar accidents this year.

Michael Kevin Gibson, 37, was found pinned under a lawn tractor in a creek May 14 in the 2700 block of New Bridgeville Road, also in Chanceford Township.

Coroner ID's Chanceford man found dead under mower

The York County Coroner's Office said he was found about 9:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy revealed his cause of death to be traumatic asphyxia and drowning, with the manner accidental.

On April 10, Timothy Stockslager, 54, was found in a pond on his property in Manheim Township, with a lawn tractor on top of him. He was found the morning of April 10 and was pronounced dead April 12, according to the coroner's office.

An autopsy conducted at Lehigh Valley Hospital found that Stockslager's cause of death was drowning, with the manner accidental, the coroner's office said.

Abnormal: York County Coroner Pam Gay said the number of fatal incidents related to mowers and their quick successions are not normal, but the incidents do happen.

Without casting judgment on the recent incidents, Gay said her office may need to do some education in lawn mower safety. She said several of the recent incidents related to lawn mowers involved just the person and the machine.

“That’s common and normal,” Gay said, but having someone around or on alert could increase response for help from authorities.

Gay said she has been told roll bars, which help prevent complete rollovers of riding lawn mowers, are a good safety feature to add to the machines.

“It’s always risky,” she said of using the riding lawn mowers. “Things unfortunately happen.”