3-year-old killed when father backs over her with lawn mower

An Alabama toddler was killed Sunday when her father, who was cutting the family’s grass, hit her with a riding lawn mower.

The accident took place around 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Pine Level community of Autauga County, according to WSFA in Montgomery. Investigators told the news station that the girl's father accidentally backed over her with the mower.

The girl was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. An investigation has been opened into the girl’s death, a standard procedure any time a child under the age of 16 dies in Alabama.

"As of this morning, we do not expect the evidence to show anything other than a tragic accident, but due to the age of the child, we will present the results of the death investigation to a grand jury," Chief Autauga County District Attorney C.J. Robinson told the news station. "Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family right now."

Science Daily reported in May that an average of 13 children are injured each day in lawn mower accidents. Cuts make up about 39 percent of those injures, while burns make up about 15 percent.

According to the Amputee Coalition, about 800 children are run over by riding mowers or small tractors each year. More than 600 of those accidents results in amputation.

One in five lawn mower-related deaths involves a child, the non-profit organization reported.