Young mom killed in freak accident: airplane wing strikes her while riding lawn mower at airport

Only 28 days after she celebrated her 27th birthday, Samantha Hayes was struck and killed by the wing of a plane while she was mowing the grounds of an Oklahoma airport.

Hayes, a mother of three died, September 29 after she was clipped by the wing of a small passenger plane as it was landing at Broken Bow Airport in McCurtain County.

Family and friends are still in shock over the freak accident, saying her babies “will know how much their momma loved them.”

Keep reading to learn more about the tragic accident that killed the young mother.

About 2:30 p.m. on September 29, Samantha Hayes, who worked for Broken Bow Parks Department, was manicuring the grounds at the Broken Bow Airport when she was hit in the head by a wing.  

According to reports, Hayes was struck by the wing of a 1972 Bonanza A36, a five-passenger aircraft, while riding the lawn mower.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said that James Baxter, the 70-year-old pilot of the plane, saw Hayes during his descent and “attempted to pull up” trying to “get the wing over the person,” but struck her instead.

“After touchdown the pilot stated he saw a female on a lawnmower next to the runway. He tried to get airborne pulling up on the yoke and it was too late. The wing of [Bonanza] struck the female in the head killing her on scene,” reports reveal.

Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene, while the pilot was unharmed.

“We are heartbroken and devastated by the passing of one of our team members on Sept. 29. This is a terribly tragic accident, and our deepest sympathies go out to the employees’ family and friends,” said Vickie Patterson, Broken Bow City Manager. “It’s critical that we determine how this accident occurred so we can take steps to prevent something like this from happening again. Our goal is to return every employee home safely every day.”

Family and friends are crushed by the death of Hayes, whose birthday they celebrated on September 11.

Carly Hayes, who according to Haye’s obituary is married to her father John, writes, “I love you so much…i am so sorry this happened. You [were] one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.” The post continues, “You [were] so full of life and had a whole life ahead of you with your precious babies. You’ve got a whole family that’s gonna make sure those babies are good I promise. I am so mad and upset I just don’t understand at all.”

In another Facebook post honoring Hayes, a friend remembers her as a great mother whose smile will be missed.

“She was a single mom who worked hard to give them a safe and loving home! These babies knew they were loved everyday all day! Them babies will know how much their momma loved them,” Darlene Tadleigh writes.

In a separate post, the woman shares, “I’m just gonna miss seeing her smile! She had a smile that could light up a dark room and a personality that was so sweet and innocent.”

Another friend, Brooke Dean, shared that there was “never a dull moment” with Hayes. “I will forever cherish those memories we made they are absolutely precious to me. I wish we had more time, Sammy. We love you.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the OHP said an investigation is ongoing to determine whether any charges could be filed against the pilot (Baxter).”

The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the incident and looking into any potential regulatory violations by the pilot and/or aircraft.

What a tragic story! It’s so sad that Samantha Hayes was killed, on the job, in such a freak accident.

We send our very best to her family and friends and hope they find some peace in their time of grieving.

Rest in peace, Samantha.