PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A 2-year-old lost both of her feet in a lawn mower accident here, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
The girl's father, Jeremiah Nugent, 47, was cutting the grass on his riding lawn mower Wednesday evening in this seaside suburb about 25 miles north of St. Petersburg, Fla., detectives said. He was about to park the mower in the garage when his wife, Nicole Nugent, 31, came out and began to wave her hands at him.
Their 2½-year-old daughter, Ireland, had run behind the mower and Nicole Nugent was trying to alert him.
But Jeremiah Nugent instead thought his wife was telling him that he was about to drive over something, so he put the mower in reverse and backed up until he realized he had run over his daughter.
The man immediately turned off the mower, but it continued to roll down the driveway, trapping the girl. His wife called 911.
Lawn mowers injured about two dozen children age 10 and younger in 2011, the most recent data available, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which looks at emergency room data. The injuries included a 2-year-old boy whose toe was amputated.
Earlier reports indicated Ireland's legs were amputated at the knee, but investigators now say the toddler's feet were severed at the ankle. Her left hand also was injured but is intact.
The girl was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital and appeared to be stable and alert as she was transported, witnesses said. Ireland's condition Thursday was not immediately available.
The incident appears to be accidental, and no charges have been filed, Pinellas County detectives said.
Firefighters said they treated both parents for hysteria.
Contributing: The Associated Press