Man cutting grass drowns after lawnmower falls into Summerville pond


Authorities say a man who was cutting grass in a Summerville neighborhood died after his lawnmower slid down an embankment and into a pond. 

The Charleston County Coroner's Office says 29-year-old Tomas Gomez Patishtan from Mexico died at Summerville Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the coroner's office, it happened on Savannah River Road when Patishtan was cutting grass near a pond in the Lakes of Summerville subdivision.

Deputy Coroner Christina Harrison said the lawnmower Patishtan was operating slid down the embankment into the pond. 

"His cause of death is drowning," Harrison said." The Summerville Police Department is the investigating agency." 

Charleston County Sheriff's Office spokesman Roger Antonio confirmed Charleston County EMS also responded as an assisting agency. 

The South Carolina Occupational Heath and Safety Administration confirmed it is also investigating and looking for workplace violations. That investigation generally takes about eight weeks to complete.

“None of us woke up yesterday expecting that to happen,” said Jonathan Lubecky who performed CPR on the drowning victim. 

Olivia and Jonathan Lubecky say there were on their back porch overlooking the lake when a landscaper fell into the pond.

Neighbors immediately jumped into action.

“I tried for a pulse and started doing some compressions but quickly realized his airway was completely blocked,” Olivia said. 

“I lost track of the amount of CPR classes I’ve taken," Jonathan said."I did four years in the Marine Corps and eight years in the Army. They’re always running us through CPR. I’ll tell you, every time I’ve had to use it in real life I do not think. It’s instinct- I just react.”

Patishtan was cutting the grass near a pond in the Lakes of Summerville subdivision when the lawnmower slid down into the pond. 

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“Both me and my wife went there to see what happened," Jonathan said."He unfortunately didn’t make it.

“I just started crying," Olivia said."They have a counselor there and she just hugged me.”

REA Landscape Management confirmed one of its employees died, saying it’s a “tremendous loss for their company.”

Lakes Master and Townhomes released the following statement: 

We are all devastated by news of the accident that resulted in the passing of an employee of the community’s landscape contractor yesterday.  Our hearts go out to the family, friends, company and co-workers of this gentleman and we offer our most sincere condolences in this time of mourning.  At this time, information is limited so we ask that everyone please be respectful when discussing or posting comments online and please keep everyone affected by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers.  Once we have information for his family, both the Lakes of Summerville community and IMC Charleston will be making monetary donations to assist them is this time of need.  We will also relay this information to you all in case anyone would like to assist on personal level as well.     

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