Sheriff’s office investigating apparent drowning death in Limestone County

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LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - A man died in a yard accident on Douglas Drive in Limestone County. Sheriff's deputies say it may be an accidental drowning.

Sheriff's deputies 75-year-old Larry Garner was mowing his yard near the Tennessee River when he fell off the ledge and into the water.

"I saw him this morning, he was on his cart and down in his vegetable garden," neighbor Tony Coffman said.

The buzz of mowers and grass clippings are nothing out of the ordinary on this hot afternoon.

"You had to get your lawn cut before the rains," Coffman said.

But as Garner was mowing, just like his Limestone County neighbors, the unthinkable happened.

"A lady who found her husband's mower in the river," Limestone County Sheriff's Office public information officer Stephen Young said.

Neighbors say after the accident happened, Larry's wife went looking for someone to help. A neighbor came to help Larry out of the water and tried CPR, but unfortunately, they couldn't save him.

"He appreciated everybody. And everybody I know thought the world of him," Coffman said.

"Anytime you have to come up here and talk about things like this, it really hurts," Young said.

A family and their neighbors are hurting. They say Garner, who was a long-time auctioneer, had plans with his wife to build a new home on the water.

"It's a terrible tragedy, this is a beautiful neighborhood, wonderful people who live here. And anytime you have to be up here and talk about incidents like this, it really hurts," said Stephen Young, Public Information Officer with the Limestone County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies say from the wood railing at the edge of the property to the concrete dock below looks to be around a 6-foot drop.

The official cause of death has not been determined yet. Garner's body will be sent for an autopsy. The Limestone County Coroner says he could have suffered a medical emergency before falling into the river.

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