CARMEL, IN — A custodian at Carmel High School
recently passed away after suffering severe burns following a lawnmower accident, according to WISH-TV
Rick Schoolcraft, who was mowing the grass around the building last Wednesday, became extensively burned after fuel began spewing out of the riding mower — covering Schoolcraft in gasoline — before combusting into flames, the story stated.
Heather Haas, an onlooker who witnessed the event, said: "My first instinct was, ''Someone has to help that man.'' My husband had a backpack and I had a jacket and we were trying to beat down the flames. The fire was still going on with the lawnmower and he was visibly hurting, he was in bad shape. Everyone was kind of yelling to get down and roll. My husband was on the phone with 9-1-1 and we were just trying to comfort him until the ambulance arrived."
According to the story, several concerned students also assisted in putting out the fire that engulfed both the custodian and the lawnmower; counseling is being provided for those students who helped.
The exact cause for the explosion and subsequent fire remain unknown, the story noted.
Schoolcraft, who was being treated at the burn unit of Wishard Hospital
, suffered second, third and fourth-degree burns on 80 percent of his body, the story added.