Two children are very lucky to have suffered only minor injuries when a metal spike, apparently shot out by a landscaper’s lawn mower, shattered the back window of the car in which they were riding, according to story aired by WABC-TV (New York City) and posted on the station’s website.
The Fairfield fire department, according to the story, says the 10-inch spike was apparently picked up and propelled by the rotating blades of the landscaper’s commercial lawn mower, and traveled 20 feet before striking the passing SUV, breaking through the rear passenger-side window and passing within inches of the children’s faces.
The spike ricocheted off the interior glass on the opposite side and came to rest on the floor between the two children, aged 2 and 3, who were restrained in car seats.
“A matter of inches one way or the other, it could have been a much different story,” Lieutenant Robert Smith, commander of Engine 3, was reported saying. “Everybody was remarkably calm. The children were calm.”
Both toddlers were evaluated and found to have only minor injuries from the shattered glass.
“There were some minor injuries to one of the children, who had some abrasions to his ear,” Smith was quoted as saying. “They were both covered in glass particles and glass dust.”
The father didn’t want to speak on camera about what happened, but damage to the family’s Honda Pilot could be observed.
Neighbors who saw and heard the emergency response are happy the kids weren't hurt. “It is absolutely terrifying,” neighbor Vanessa Desantis told the reporter. “It was just a horrible chain of events, and an accident that is just unprecedented. So it was scary.”
Investigators say the landscaper — also a father — immediately stopped mowing and remained on the scene. He was reported to have been shaken up by the incident but relieved to learn that the freak accident wasn’t a tragic one.
Commercial mowers have discharge chute covers that are supposed to prevent rocks and other objects picked up by the fast-whirling blades from being flung out and hitting passersby. The story made no mention of whether the landscaper’s mower had such a cover in place or not or whether the cover had malfunctioned.
Regardless, this account serves as a reminder that discharge chute covers should always be in place when a mower’s blades are turning.