Five-year-old boy loses foot in mower accident

By Chuck Weber email

WEST OF LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - One moment a 5-year-old boy was riding on his grandfather's lap on a lawn mower. The next, the mower had run over the boy severing his foot.

The accident happened Wednesday at the home of Jeffrey Stearns' grandparents west of Lake Worth. Jeffrey and his dad also live there.

The grandfather, Charlie Langston, was riding his John Deere mower. He told Sheriff's investigators, Jeffrey ran out in front of the mower. Langston says he tried to stop, but Jeffrey tripped and fell to the ground, the mower cutting the boy's foot just above the ankle.

"He brought him inside and wrapped it up, called 911," said the boy's uncle Mike Langston. Medics flew Jeffrey to Delray Beach Medical Center in Trauma Hawk.

Hospital spokeswoman Michelle Sutton confirmed the trauma center wanted to send the boy to Miami, to try and re-attach the foot. But Sutton said the injury was so severe, it wasn't possible.

The uncle, Mike Langston, said Jeffrey was close to his grandfather. The two were inseparable, he said.

"It really hurts him," Langston said of his brother Charlie. "He's crying, saying he couldn't believe..." Langston started to choke up himself, unable to finish his thought.

Langston said the boy was riding on the mower with his grandfather just before the accident. "Little kids are unpredictable," he said. "They get something in their head. Boom. He was off and on his way to his next adventure, I guess."

Langston says the family now knows children should be kept away from mowers and other machinery.

Sutton of Delray Beach Medical Center reported Jeffery was undergoing surgery during the afternoon. She said he stable.