REDGRANITE (WAOW) – The 81-year-old Redgranite man killed when his riding lawn mower crashed with a sport utility vehicle on a busy street was on his way to mow a family member's lawn, Police Chief Don Olander said Friday.
"It really is a personal tragedy,” Olander said. “He's an elderly gentleman who mows other people's lawns.”
The crash that killed Leonard Schrock happened about 4 p.m. Wednesday on state Highway 21 as it goes through town as Bannerman Avenue, Olander said.
Schrock was on a 10-block drive to mow a family member's yard when he drifted to the left from the shoulder of the road and into the path of the SUV driven by a 56-year-old Milwaukee man, Olander said.
The lawn mower had a slow-moving vehicle sign on it and Schrock had probably made the same journey hundreds of times, the police chief said.
It's unclear why Schrock strayed into the line of vehicles traveling about 25 mph, Olander said.
“He had another two or three blocks to go to make his turn,” the police chief said. “I am not sure if health issues were a factor. It is just a freak thing that happened in seconds.”
The SUV hit the rear of the lawn tractor and Schrock was thrown from it, Olander said.
The lawn mower was not in its fastest gear when the crash occurred, the police chief said.