18-year-old southern Illinois man dies in lawnmower accident

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SWANSEA, Ill. _ A southern Illinois man working for a lawn service died when the commercial lawnmower he was operating slid into a pond and trapped him.

Police identified the victim as 18-year-old Conner LaPointe of New Athens. Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson says it “appears to be a tragic accident.”

Police reports say a co-worker called to report LaPointe missing. Rescue workers arrived and saw the mower upside down at the water’s edge before finding LaPointe trapped.

The Belleville News Democrat reports firefighters jumped in the water to roll the mower over and free LaPointe. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate him.

Police say they don’t know how long LaPointe was in the water but they estimate between one and four hours.

A cause of death wasn’t immediately clear. An autopsy is pending.