Oklahoma Mother Killed by Plane While Riding Lawnmower

(ReliableNews.org) – Samantha Hayes, 27, was mowing the lawn at the Broken Bow Municipal Airport in Oklahoma on September 29. At the same time, 70-year-old James Baxter was bringing his plane in for a landing. What happened next has left three kids without a mother.

Sarah Stewart, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, spoke to reporters about the incident. According to the official, Baxter said he brought his 1972 Beechcraft Bonanza A36 in for a landing and had just touched down when he noticed Hayes mowing the lawn on a riding mower. The pilot tried to avoid hitting her by lifting up, but one of the plane’s wings struck her in the head.

The accident happened around 2:30 p.m. local time, and the weather was clear. Hayes was an employee of Broken Bow’s Park Division. Stewart said her agency is investigating whether to charge Baxter with a crime. She said authorities want to know, “Did the pilot do anything wrong or was this just unavoidable?” They also want to know whether the victim was wearing reflective clothing or if she saw Baxter’s plane coming in for a landing.

The Broken Bow Municipal Airport has a runway that stretches about 3,200 feet. There are no air traffic controllers at the facility to bring planes in safely. Instead, pilots are required to announce their takeoffs and landings over the radio.

Hayes’ loved ones took to social media to mourn their loss. Carley Hayes told her friends and family that her husband lost his daughter. She said Samantha was a twin and had another sister as well. She also had three young children. In a follow-up post, Carley promised that Samantha’s children were going to be taken care of by her large family.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the accident. The agency has not released any information at this time.

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