Yes it is very sad that this incident happened but, the fella was only working for a few months useing this machine. Was he properly trained? were all of the mowers safety features working AND in use? This should be a learning experience for all.
However, I have very heavy doubts that the accident actually happened as they "theorized" it did.
In fact, I imagine it happened the way I am terrified a ZTR might one day end up on top of me.... ZTR breaks traction... becomes a runaway down a short steep hill that ends at a very abrupt transition.... \__ .
You know... the abrupt transitions we encounter on a lesser scale all the time that our castor tires wedge against and do not cross easily. I imagine that has already killed a few good men... and so has the mow up forward and back down method. Let it slip traction, speed up, then grab.... it's on top of you before you can blink....
Be careful out there guys.
These ZTR's are particularly dangerous mowers.
Had a kid get mangled here last year at an Alcoa plant. Osha found out the LCO was subbed through another LCO and was not trained to be on site. It was the kid's last week working for the LCO. I don't see that LCO's truck on the road anymore. Please be careful guys.