Investigators say the boy was pinned between a pickup truck and a lawnmower at this home in the 100 block of S. Sandusky Street in Rushsylvania. STAFF PHOTO/Collins

Sheriff: Logan County 18-month-old’s death likely a ‘tragic accident’

Investigators say the death of a toddler who was pinned between a riding lawnmower and a pickup truck was likely a tragic accident.

A 9-1-1 call came into the Logan County Sheriff’s Office about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sheriff Randy Dodds said. The caller said an 18-month-old boy, Elias Dickinson, had been injured at a home in the 100 block of South Sandusky Street in Rushsylvania. Elias was transferred to the hospital, Dodds said, where he was pronounced dead.

“Early reports indicate that the father was attempting to jump start a riding lawnmower with a pickup truck and the youth somehow got pinned between the pickup truck and the lawnmower,” Dodds said.

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But questions about how the boy was pinned remain, he said, and investigators planned to interview family members on Monday.

“We don’t know yet whether there was anybody in the pickup truck at the time,” he said. “…Did somebody drive it forward?”

Criminal charges can’t be ruled out until the investigation is complete, Dodds said, but for now it’s being treated as an accident.

“It appears that this is probably just a tragic accident,” he said.

It’s a reminder to be alert when operating equipment of any kind, Dodds said, especially around children.

“Always be aware of your surroundings — What’s in front of you, what’s in back of you — before you move a piece of equipment,” he said.

Dodds knows it can be difficult to keep track of small children.

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“You see them here then the next thing you know, they’re gone,” he said.

Workers at LeVan’s Power Equipment in Bellefontaine said people should pay close attention to safety stickers on riding lawn mowers. They instruct users not to have others ride on the mower and to be careful, especially when backing up.

A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told the Springfield News-Sun the family is stunned by the loss of the toddler.

Dodds said he and the rest of the sheriff’s department is praying for the family.

“My heart goes out to these parents that are going through that,” he said. “I can’t imagine the pain they’re going through.”

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