[UPDATE] Lawnmower Accident Claims Life of 10-year-old Boy

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Valdosta, Georgia - May 13, 2011

The Berrien County Coroner says 10-year-old Paxton Griffin died from suffocation and that he likely struck something while cutting grass before the lawnmower flipped over on him.

No charges will be filed against the Griffin's or Gaither's, at this time, according to the Berrien County Sheriff's Office.


Valdosta, Georgia - May 12, 2011

"He was always happy. A go-lucky young man," says Berrien Elementary School Principal Belinda West.

Inside Berrien Elementary School are reminders of a fourth grade hall missing a special student, who was always smiling, joking around and loved to fish and help out.

"It's just a sad, sad time and we're just going to do our best to get through it," says West.

Ten-year-old Paxton Griffin, a fourth grader, was killed at about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, while mowing grass at Gaither's Body Shop at 7647 Highway 129 in Nashville.

Deputies say the lawnmower Paxton was riding flipped over. He got caught underneath it and likely died right away.

West says, "He had a lot of energy and was a very good student and he made friends very easily."

So, when word spread across Nashville that Paxton was in an accident at that body shop, Lucy Gaither, says, "He practically grew up down there. And that's only one of many children that my nephew had on his property."

"They've raised many [children] off and on for parents working or for whatever reason,"says Gaither, Chris Gaither's aunt. "And so, it was quite a shock. Nothing like this has every happened over there."

But what is less clear is why the mower turned over on to Paxton and why he was doing chores at Gaither's unattended.

"We're just going to keep them in our prayers and support them anyway that we can," says West.

Little Paxton was transported to Lovein Funeral Home in Nashville.

His funeral will be Sunday at Hope Baptist Church at 2 p.m.

The sheriff's office won't say whether any charges have been filed against the Gaithers or Griffins.

We'll keep you posted on any new developments.


Berrien County, Georgia - May 12, 2011- 11:43

A lawnmower accident leaves a 10 year old Berrien County boy dead. Students and teachers at his elementary school are trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

The accident happened around 4p.m. on May 11 at an auto body shop on Highway 129 in Nashville, Georgia.

Counselors and local pastors are at Berrien Elementary today to help kids and faculty cope with the 4th grader's death.

An incident report shows the boy's mom, Abbey Griffin, had picked him up from school and taken him to Gaither's Body Shop, where the boy did chores after school. Griffin says she went to check on her son and discovered him lying under the riding lawnmower that was still running. The body shop owner removed the mower off of the boy, but it was too late. First responders say he was dead when they arrived on scene.

The boy's principal says he was a good student and was always happy. Students are working on a memorial poster in honor of the fellow classmate.

We'll have more reaction tonight on Eyewitness News.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by kaitlin comerford 5 th grade Location: berrien county on May 10, 2012 at 03:35 PM
    paxton and i was in 3rd grade togather i am in fifth now but i miss him alot i was thinking about hm and searched his name surprisingly i saw alot of thing pop up about him even though i am 12 yrs old i know that it was very irrespible to leave a young child with a lown mower
  • by Autumn Location: Valdosta GA on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM
    my name is Autumn Massey and i used to go to Berrien Elementery School. i am now 10 and in 5th Grade and i go to SL Mason and i moved because of the tragedy. Paxton Griffin was in Mrs. Gaithers class and i was next door i was in Mrs. Baldree's class and i was was a really good friend with Paxton Griffin i remember he would always come and bring us books and then he would drop it on the floor to make us laugh for a really long time we loved Paxton Griffin. by 4 months i had come to school happy and joyfull to play with my best friend Amber Boyd who was related to Paxton Griffin but when i was walking in the door and it was lonley as if something may have happened so when i ran to the classroom it started......i sat down with my best friend Amber Boyd and she was crying and i didnt know what had happened so i asked her whats wrong she didnt say anything but finally she mummerd he died Paxton hes gone and she started crying again. as soon as i heard that i fell on floor calapsing i could not believe this it flashed before my eyes i had stoped breathing and my teacher help me up and she said my name over and over again i could not say anything. it snapped i had screamed NO ITS NOT FAIR LET GO OF ME and after that everyone looked at me and said omg Autumn are you ok and i ran and that was the last time i had ever said anything to my friends or Berrien School ever again. My name is Autumn Massey and this is my reaction of my best friend dead thankyou for liking what i have put and i pray everyday for his family thankyou and god bless the ppl who knew him.
  • by Faith Location: Nashville, Georgia on May 20, 2011 at 03:09 PM
    My heart goes out to this family. There is no grief greater than the loss of a child. I pray that Jesus comfort this family and hold them close to His heart.
  • by Chris Location: Thomasville GA on May 16, 2011 at 07:52 AM
    Hey Hank and Logical Larry, are you purposely trying to upset an already heatbroken family? This is America and you are entitled to your opinions, but keep them to youselves. Please try to exibit the compassion on this family that I hope people would show for you if tragety struck your doors.
  • by Vic Location: Nashville on May 15, 2011 at 05:44 PM
    This boy was 10 times as responsible as many children, and his parents saw to that by rasing him RIGHT! Was letting him ride a lawn mower unsupervised as he had been for many years (trust me I know) wrong? Possibly. But he is GONE, there is no getting him back. His family is TORN, and you people being jerks are not helping any by saying things when you have no CLUE what effect you are having. Apperantly, some people pray on others misfortune to make themselves feel big and bad. I for one feel sorry for this family, who was raising a wonderful little boy. I also feel sorry for those of you who have nothing better to do then pour salt in the wounds of a community and family that has lost a child, when I doubt many of you have never experinced this! Shame Shame
  • by TallyTrashTalks2 Location: Tallahassee on May 14, 2011 at 05:51 PM
    Many ignorant people have the ability to turn on a computer, but no common sense! A parent trying to teach a child responsibility deserves applause, not condemnation from an unfortunate accident with the loss of their child!
  • by Joe Location: Cairo on May 14, 2011 at 07:21 AM
    Not every kid grows up a spoiled brat living in a Tallahassee suburb playing X-Box all day while smoking pot!
  • by unknown on May 14, 2011 at 05:05 AM
    I used to like this until something like this happens and they refused to do a interview and the public don't know all facts. I pray for all the ones with all there stupid reactions.I hope before it's over with they will give a interview.So everyone one will know the whole story.From a close friend of the family. I will miss u paxton.
  • by Logical Larry on May 13, 2011 at 08:47 PM
    Emotion: It's an accident......Logic: Why was a 10 year old doing chores at a machine shop where dangerous equipment(for a 10 yr old) is everywhere? There are 3492842093849328408230 million safe ways you can teach a child responsibility without putting him position to make a childish error and die.
    • reply
      by unknown on May 17, 2011 at 01:49 PM in reply to Logical Larry
      Because some folks shops are at there house & you got to seperate the two sometime or another. Not everything that happens on that piece of property is shop related somethings are house related not just because a bodyshop stands out front.Bodyshop owners do have friends to.
  • by hank Location: tallahassee on May 13, 2011 at 08:42 PM
    Sorry to mention this but a 10 year old should not be using a riding mower and especially without adult supervision.
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 121709034 - wctv.tv/a?a=121709034
Gray Television, Inc.