An Oklahoma woman has died after she was hit by a small plane at a small airport in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, Friday afternoon.
Samantha Hayes, 27, who worked for the city of Broken Bow parks department, was on a lawn mower at the Broken Bow Airport when the pilot of a 1972 Bonanza A36 landed on the runway around 2:30 p.m., according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
The pilot, James Baxter, 70, descended the plane, landed and saw Hayes on the lawn mower after touching the runway, officials said.
He tried to pull up the plane and get the wing over her, but the wing struck her in the head and she died.
Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene due to a head injury. Baxter was unharmed in the crash, Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.
An investigation is ongoing.
Tributes on social media described Hayes as a single mother-of-three who worked hard and cherished her children.
Broken Bow is a small city in southeastern Oklahoma, near the Arkansas border, that stretches just over six square miles with a population of 4,120, according to the city’s website. The airport is small with a 3,200-foot runway.
“We are heartbroken and devastated by the passing of one of our team members on Sept. 29. This is a terribly tragic accident, and our deepest sympathies go out to the employees family and friends,” City Manager Vickie Patterson said in a statement.
“It’s critical that we determine how this accident occurred so we can take steps to prevent something like this from happening again. Our goal is to return every employee home safely every day,” she added, noting the city is working with investigators.
She said the city will place preventative measures in place if they’re deemed necessary.