A New Castle County parks worker was killed Monday at Carousel Park when the mower he was operating slid down an embankment and pinned him underneath.


A New Castle County parks worker was killed Monday at Carousel Park when the mower he was operating slid down an embankment and pinned him underneath.

James Hagerty, a 68-year-old man officials say was a seasonal employee, was riding the mower just after 12:15 p.m. when it stalled on a hill, said Police Spokesman Officer John Weglarz. When he unsuccessfully tried to restart the mower, it began sliding down the embankment. Weglarz said accident happened near the 216-acre park’s Enchanted Lake. He said the mower hit a rock piling in a runoff area from the pond, which caused it to flip over, pinning the employee underneath.

Weglarz estimates there was about a foot of water where the man was trapped, but said the cause of death had yet to be determined.

Hagerty was previously a full-time county employee who worked as a special equipment operator from December 2001 to December 2006. He retired and returned to work as a seasonal employee in May. Seasonal employees work about nine months out of the year, mostly in the maintenance of county parks and other facilities.

Immediately following the accident, County Executive Chris Coons and other officials went to Hagerty’s home to express their condolences to his wife and children.

“We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy,” Coons said. “This is a huge loss. Mr. Hagerty was a dedicated part of our family who worked so hard to serve the public.”

The accident remains under investigation.