A 44-year-old farm owner was killed when the tractor he was driving overturned. Using a rotary mower attached to a Ford 600 tractor, the farmer was mowing an area along the gravel road leading to his home in a very remote area of the county. On the east side was a fence and on the west a brush covered embankment. At the top of the seven-foot embankment was a sloping field that had been mowed earlier in the season. The tractor, having been purchased six weeks earlier, had undergone maintenance work but was not equipped with a Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS) or a seatbelt. After making one pass around the hillside bordering the road, he continued a second pass in a counterclockwise direction traveling northward, parallel to the gravel road. The tractor's right front wheel went over the edge of the embankment, causing the tractor to overturn and come to rest on top of the victim’s head in the center of the road. A neighbor discovered him about a half hour later and called emergency medical services (EMS). In order to prevent similar incidents, the Kentucky FACE investigator recommends that:

  • older model tractors should be retrofitted with ROPS and seatbelts;
  • operators should wear seatbelts when on ROPS-equipped tractors;
  • tractor wheels should be weighted to afford maximum stability;
  • tractors should be equipped with front-end counterweights;
  • novice operators should familiarize themselves with both the equipment and the land prior to beginning activities;
  • courses for novice tractor operators should be offered; and,
  • rural counties should periodically update road maps/signs, instruct citizens to write out directions to their farms, and implement enhanced 911 systems.

Document Type


Release Date


Incident Number