Police probe suspicious mower death

Police probe suspicious mower death
Police in Piteå, in northern Sweden, have opened up an investigation into the death of a man who suffocated when he fell under a rogue lawn mower last year.

When the 58-year-old man died in the beginning of June 2010 while trimming the grounds of Piteå Golf Club, the police at first believed he had been struck by sudden illness.

But after the preliminary investigation showed that the man died after the lawn mower made an about turn and drove over him, causing him to suffocate under its weight, the prosecution authority for work environment issues (Åklagarens Riksenhet för Arbetsmiljömål) have initiated an investigation into potential manslaughter.

According to the local press, police now believe that the man, who suffered from diabetes, passed out and fell off the mower.

Safety protocols should kick in causing the mower to stop automatically, but for some reason this did not happen.

“The mower drove in a circle 70-80 metres and returned to exactly where he was lying. It was the worst luck, really,” said one of the man’s relatives to local paper Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD).

The police are now investigating if a crime has been committed by the golf club, as the machine did not perform according to safety protocols.

“If you fall off it is supposed to stop, but obviously there was a glitch in the system and that’s why it continued on its way,” said the man’s relative to the paper.

But according to the golf club, they have not been informed of the police investigation being carried out against them.

“We have not been told about this. We have not been questioned by the police,” said chairman Ove Marklund.

He pointed out to the paper that how the man came to be hit by the rogue mower is still under investigation and that it is too early to say how it came to happen.

“It has been established that this is what killed him. There was no indication that the machine was faulty,” Marklund told NSD.

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