Valley City Man Dies in Lawnmower Accident

Heidi Harris
News Editor

Valley City police found a man dead with a riding lawn mower on his back Monday afternoon, said Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson in a press release.

Todd Mark Heck, 51, Valley City, was found dead when officers arrived at Hanna Field, 1200 Central Avenue North, at about 4:37 p.m., responding to a call of a lawn mower accident.

Thompson said, "Officers quickly removed the lawn mower and the victim was attended to by the Barnes County Ambulance personnel who determined that the victim was deceased."

Thompson said an initial investigation revealed that Heck was mowing the lawn of Hanna Field when he drove the lawn mower up an incline.

"Sometime during that process, the lawn mower flipped over the hill, trapping Heck underneath the mower," Thompson said. "Because of the weight of the mower, approximately 1,300 pounds, on his back, Heck received injuries believed to have resulted in his accidental death."

Heck was an employee of the Valley City Public School District, which Thompson said was notified. The VCPD also notified Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

VCPS Superintendent Dean Koppelman said in a statement, "We are very saddened by the loss of one of our 'Hi-Liner family' members, Todd Heck.Our thoughts and prayers are with Todd's family and friends. He will be greatly missed by all."

The investigation is continuing and the Valley City Police Department asks anyone with any information on the case to contact (701) 845-3110.