CRAVEN COUNTY - Authorities have released the identity of a Craven County man killed in a lawn mower accident.
According to deputies, 59-year-old Vernard Grunder was mowing a neighbor's yard on the 200 block of Turkey Quarter Creek Road, near Cove City, when he lost control of the lawn mower. The victim then drove under a free-standing deck, causing him to be pinned between his mower and the structure, investigators said.
Grunder died from his injuries. Investigators are not sure when the accident happened, but said Grunder's body was discovered just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.
"One of the boys that works for me was down at the landing and he had noticed that there were some feet sticking out from under the deck," said neighbor Butch Morse.
Pastor Bill Wingard of Calvary Baptist Church said the victim had just bought the Toro lawn mower and was trimming a neighbor's yard when the the accident happened. The Craven County Sheriff's Office confirmed that information.
Morse said he saw Grunder at the store Tuesday when the victim bought the mower.
"He was a little nervous," Morse said. "I told him to take it out in the yard and play with it for about an hour and he'd get used to it, but it didn't work out that way."
Investigators have not released an exact cause of death.