A 4-year-old girl in Hardee County is recovering at Tampa General Hospital after her dad accidentally rode over her leg with a lawn mower, authorities said Friday.
The accident happened in Bowling Green, at a home along the 4800 block of Freeman Avenue. Neighbors identified the victim as Makaya Lee.
The girl's right leg was injured, according to Bowling Green Police.
"I just saw a dad panicking and a little girl panicking and then I saw this baby panicking and I just knew that I had to be strong because I would not have wanted to be in that man's shoes," said Wendy Harbarugh, who lives next door and ran over to help bandage Makaya's wounds. "I've asked everybody I know, put them on their prayer list because they're a good family."
Police said the girl was not on the riding mower. They are still investigating how the accident happened.
A spokeswoman with Hardee County Fire Rescue said the girl's injuries are not life threatening, but are "very, very severe."
A spokesman with TGH said the girl is in "fair" condition, but did not release any further details.
The accident hit home for the family of Ireland Nugent, 2, who lost both her feet in a lawn mower accident in Palm Harbor in April.
"It's actually heart-wrenching. It kind of takes you back to the night of the accident," said Nicole Nugent, Ireland's mother.
Ireland has made a full recovery and is preparing to be fitted for her second set of prosthetic legs.
Nicole said she's offering her support to Makaya's family.
"I would love to go and just sit with them, cry with them, be with them. We had so much support when we were there. That's what got us through this," she said, adding she wants Makaya's parents to know everything will eventually be okay. "Not everything is going to go wonderfully, but in the end your daughter will be running, jumping, laughing, playing just like she was before the accident."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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