A lawn mowing accident in southwest Iowa has claimed the life of a seasonal employee of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Council Bluffs police said 78-year-old Bruce Thomas Jensen, of Treynor, died Tuesday when the mower he was using to cut the grass and weeds on the west side of Lake Manawa State Park overturned and pinned him in a shallow portion of the lake.

The accident happened at around 2:40 P.M. when the riding mower apparently got too close to an embankment that was obscured by weeds. Council Bluffs Police Lieutenant Mark Galvan says Jensen evidently didn’t see the ledge and the tractor rolled.

He was mowing the grass around the different parking lots and apparently got too close to the edge there which was obscured by the weeds,” Galvan says. “When officers arrived, it was found that the tractor rolled over and caused the subject to drown.”

Jensen, who was pinned beneath about 6-inches of water, died at the scene. “The tractor rolled over on top of him and trapped him in just a little bit of water but enough to cause him to be deceased,” Galvan says.

An autopsy will determine whether Jensen died of trauma from the accident, drowning, or for some other reason. An investigation into the incident continues.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic