Lexington child who died in mower accident fell off while riding with father

Riding with father, Girl fell off zero-turn machine

cclaybourn@herald-leader.comMay 27, 2011 

Adelaide McReynolds

A 2-year-old child killed Wednesday in a lawn mower accident had been riding on the mower with her father and brother when she fell off, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said.

Ginn said Adelaide McReynolds died from multiple blunt-force and sharp-force trauma at the family farm at 2011 Hillgate Drive in Lexington.

Ginn said the child was riding on a zero-turn lawn mower with her father, William Jackson McReynolds II, when her brother ran up to the father. McReynolds then put the son on his lap, holding both children on the mower with him.

When McReynolds made a hairpin turn, Adelaide fell off and was caught underneath the mower.

Ginn said McReynolds had a history of letting his children ride on the mower with him.

"This has been a practice with him and his children," Ginn said. "He's been having his children on the mower for some time."

Ginn said it appeared to be an accident.

Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said police will be "looking at any kind of circumstances" relating to the death. No charges had been filed as of Thursday evening, but it's "still an open investigation," Roberts said.

Lexington fire department spokesman Marshall Griggs said that firefighters who responded to the scene were provided with counseling to help them cope.

Consumer Reports describes zero-turn mowers as having a zero-degree turning radius that uses the rear wheels to steer the mower. Those attributes make the machines riskier if there's a wall, pond, road or other potential hazard at the bottom of a slope.

Consumer Reports also found the machines hard to steer downhill.

A general increase in deaths related to riding mowers appears to coincide with the growth in market share for zero-turn models, prompting Consumer Reports in 2009 to take a closer look at steering control on hills. Loss of control was a factor in many injuries and deaths, based on its analysis of Consumer Product Safety Commission data.

In addition to her father, Adelaide is survived by her mother, Teresa Kennedy McReynolds; her brother, Samuel Pitt McReynolds; four grandparents; 10 aunts and uncles; and eight cousins.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Milward Funeral Home on North Broadway. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul Catholic Church in Lexington. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Adelaide Kennedy McReynolds Fund, care of The Kentucky Children's Garden at the Arboretum.