Skip to main content

Man's Leg Severed, Blew Up Lawn Mower With Gun

David Thomas Presley lost part of his leg on March 19 when he tried to blow up a riding lawn mower with an explosive and a gun in Walton County, Georgia.

Presley fired a gun at the old mower, which had been loaded up with three pounds of explosive, reports the Loganville Local News.

During the planned explosion, a piece of shrapnel hit and severed Presley's leg below the knee, notes

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said that Presley and some friends tried to blow up the lawn mower with Tannerite, an explosive combination of chemicals that can be legally bought at stores.

After the explosion went wrong, Presley’s friends placed him in a vehicle and pulled out to the edge of a driveway where an ambulance met them.

Presley was subsequently airlifted to a hospital in Atlanta; information about his condition was unavailable on March 23.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office wrote about the incident on Facebook on March 20: "Yes, it is legal and no, we can't make people stop doing it. But why, folks, just why?'

“[Tannerite] is a patented combination of ammonium nitrate (an oxidizer) and aluminium powder (a fuel) that is supplied as two separate powders that are mixed and shaken to produce an explosive,” Battalion Chief Craig League, of the Walton County Fire Rescue team, told the Loganville Local News.

League added:

One of the drawbacks with Tannerite is that the more of the product that you mix together and shoot the bigger and louder the explosion. This makes it quite dangerous for amateur use.

It has become quite common for us to run calls involving Tannerite. Typically 2-5 calls per week. Usually these calls are reported to the 911 center as an explosion was heard in a certain area. We send apparatus out to check, but nothing is usually found.

If you hear a loud boom and it shakes your home, your windows and the china in your cabinets rattle around, then there is a good chance one of your neighbors is shooting Tannerite.

Sources:, Facebook, Loganville Local News / Photo credit: Airwolfhound/Flickr

Popular Video