Deputies: Man dies after lawnmower falls on him

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A 68-year-old man was killed Thursday in Middleburg when the large lawnmower he was working on fell on top of him, crushing him, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said.

Benjamin Connor Roberts III was found by his wife, Barbara Roberts, in the garage of the couple's home in the 1200 block of Fox Meadow Trail in the Fox Meadow subdivision about 2:30 p.m.

When deputies arrived, they lifted the approximately 750-pound Kawasaki Zero Turn lawnmower off the victim, who died at the scene. 

Family told deputies the lawnmower belonged to Benjamin Roberts, an ex-Marine who had recently started working on the mower to get it working again. 

Friends of Benjamin Roberts told News4Jax he was very experienced with lawnmowers and was in great shape. They said they couldn't believe he was killed.

"He had a lawn business and does his lawn all the time," said Bill Skoog, a neighbor of the Robertses. "That's bizarre."

Todd Wheeler said Benjamin Roberts was like family to him.

"I'm just trying to take it in and reminisce and enjoy the good times. He was a great man. He was a hard worker and like a second father to us and to a lot of people in the community. We are trying to be there for Barbara," Wheeler said. "If you asked for the shirt off his back he'd give it to you and wouldn't ask why. One of the hardest working men I ever met. Worked his whole life at CSX, and when he got home he had a lawn service. I worked for him as a kid. My brothers worked for him. We all worked for him. He was the hardest working man I ever met."

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