Delaware, IN—Late Tuesday night the Ripley County Communications received a 911 call reporting a lawnmower accident on County Road 225 East. Delaware Volunteer Fire Department was first on the scene to discover a John Deere zero turn mower upside down in a deep ditch filled with water. Thomas Beatly, 63, of Milan was trapped under the mower. The fireman on scene and law enforcement were able to pull Beatly out from under the mower and out of the water. However, Beatly was pronounced deceased at the scene by a Ripley County Medic.
The initial investigation shows that Beatly was operating the mower alongside the roadway over a large culvert under the roadway. For unknown reasons, the mower slide to the left, going over the embankment, flipping upside down, and pinning Beatly under the mower. Friends and family reported searching for over an hour before locating the mower in the ditch.