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72-Year-Old Man Mowing Airport's Lawn Hit by Landing Airplane

“This is a simple grass strip, small planes only."

Image source: Shutterstock

An elderly man cutting the grass at a North Carolina airport was hit by a single-engine plane as it landed Saturday afternoon, severing his hand and hospitalizing him.

John Ruffy, 74, of Taylorsville, was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem immediately following the incident, the Hickory Record reported.

“His hand was severed and is being transported with him,” said Russel Greene, the county's emergency management coordinator.

Image source: Shutterstock A 74-year-old man mowing the lawn at a North Carolina airport was struck by a plane and hospitalized Saturday. (Image source: Shutterstock)

Greene added that Ruffy's injuries were severe, but did not appear life threatening at the scene. The 74-year-old's nephew told the Record that doctors had placed Ruffy on blood thinners as they worked to stabilize him Saturday evening.

The pilot of the plane escaped the accident without any injuries. The Record reported that he declined to comment.

“This is a simple grass strip, small planes only,” Greene said. “Typically, pilots circle the field, make sure the field is clear, and then come in and land.”

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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