Woman on Lawn Mower Killed by Small Plane

Pilot tried to pull up when he saw woman at Oklahoma airport, authorities say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2023 4:20 PM CDT
Plane Kills Woman on Lawn Mower
Broken Bow Municipal Airport has a 3,200-foot runway.   (CIty of Broken Bow)

A woman on a lawn mower was pronounced dead at the scene Friday after she was hit by a small plane at an airport, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol says. Authorities say 27-year-old Samantha Hayes suffered a head injury when she was hit by the wing of a 1972 Bonanza A36 piloted by 70-year-old James Baxter at Broken Bow Airport, KFOR reports. Baxter saw Hayes after he touched down around 3:30pm Friday and unsuccessfully tried to pull the plane up and get the wing over her, authorities say. He was not injured and has not been charged. Officials say the investigation is ongoing.

On social media, friends paid tribute to Hayes as a hardworking single mother of three, NBC News reports. She worked for the parks department in Broken Bow, a city of around 4,000 people in southeast Oklahoma. "We are heartbroken and devastated by the passing of one of our team members on Sept. 29. This is a terribly tragic accident, and our deepest sympathies go out to the employees family and friends," City Manager Vickie Patterson said in a statement. "It's critical that we determine how this accident occurred so we can take steps to prevent something like this from happening again. Our goal is to return every employee home safely every day." (Read more Oklahoma stories.)

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