MADISON COUNTY, Ill. — A young Metro East boy was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital after his legs were severely injured by a riding lawnmower Monday evening.
The child received "injuries to their legs severe enough that it required them to be flown to a St. Louis hospital," the Rosewood Heights Fire Department said in a Facebook post.
"He plays a lot when he's outside. He's a handsome, little fellow," said Cindy Brown.
Brown has been feeling down for a couple of days, thinking of her neighbor's little boy.
It's because the 5-year-old who she usually sees riding in his red and yellow toy car on his family's porch, wasn't there Tuesday.
"Oh, it's very upsetting. I just hate that it happened," said Brown.
On Monday, emergency responders rushed to the family's home in East Alton, Illinois.
"My husband saw a lot of people coming over and heard the mother screaming 'oh my God'," Brown said.
It was after the boy's mother saw serious injuries to her son's legs.
Brown said she talked to the boy's mom and learned the child's great-grandpa was on a riding lawnmower, cutting his daughter's backyard when he accidentally backed over his grandson.
"The child was playing and I don't think the grandpa heard him until it was too late. It was horrible," Brown said.
Emergency responders flew the boy to a St. Louis hospital.
"Lots of thoughts and prayers for the child, his grandpa and their entire family right now," Brown said.
Tuesday, the child's mom shared some great news with Brown, who's pulling for her little neighbor.
"She said he's doing fine. He had surgery today and she told me he would be fine, and that he would be walking again," Brown said. "That's good news, and I'm just hoping and praying the little fellow does great."
Brown said the boy is an only child.
Again, investigators say the incident was an awful accident.
The fire district said the incident occurred at around 6 p.m. Monday in Rosewood Heights.
"We want to thank the Alton Memorial ambulance crew and Air Evac medical helicopter for the great job with the treatment of the child and to Madison County Sheriffs Dept. dispatchers for working to get us of all the needed resources so quickly," the fire district said.