A 2-year-old boy was in critical condition in Tampa on Thursday after he was accidently run over by a lawn mower at his Lake Placid home, authorities said.
Anthony Meza was riding his bike Wednesday morning when his mother, 23-year-old Maria Isabel Huerto Bello, was mowing the yard at 445 Hayride Ave., the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said.
Bello put the mower in reverse and ran over the child’s leg, the sheriff’s office said.
The boy was flown to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries to his legs, the sheriff’s office said.
Hospital officers said Anthony had surgery and was in critical but stable condition in the pediatric intensive care unit, the sheriff’s office said. He may require further surgery on the leg.
Bello took her son to Florida Hospital Lake Placid’s emergency room about 10 a.m. Wednesday, and the sheriff’s office’s Special Victims Unit was notified at 3 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.
By the time deputies got involved, the boy and his mother were en route to Tampa General Hospital, the sheriff’s office said.
The incident was similar to others in the region this year, including one that severed the feet of Palm Harbor 2-year-old Ireland Nugent, who received prostheses after multiple surgeries at Tampa General.
Since Ireland’s April accident, a series of community fundraisers have helped raise tens of thousands of dollars to pay for medical care and prosthetics.
In July, Hardee County 4-year-old Makaya Lee lost part of her right foot in a similar accident at her home. She was taken to Tampa General and is undergoing physical therapy.
Also in July, a Lee County 3-year-old sustained a severe foot injury when he fell off his bike and his mother’s boyfriend accidently backed a mower over him, investigators said.
Ireland’s mother, Nicole Nugent, has placed a petition on the website change.org asking U.S. and state lawmakers to enact stricter regulations on lawn mowers.