A 67-year-old male farmer (the victim) died when the tractor he was operating flipped over backward, pinning him between it and another tractor. He and his 13-year-old grandson had been working with a tractor and rotary mower, but got stuck in the mud of a creek bed; approximately one-third of the rear tractor tires were buried in mud. He had gotten a second tractor, attached a chain from the rear of it to the front of the first tractor, and had just begun to try and pull the tractor out when the incident occurred. From evidence at the scene it appeared that his foot slipped off the clutch, causing the tractor to lurch forward suddenly and flip over backward. His grandson, who had been on the tractor that was stuck, ran more than a mile to the house to summon help. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel arrived, found no signs of life, and called the coroner, who pronounced the victim dead at the scene. In order to prevent similar occurrences, the KY FACE investigator recommends that:

  • an appropriate tractor be chosen to perform the particular task;
  • all tractors be equipped with rollover protective structures (ROPS) and seatbelts;
  • front-end counterweights be used to lower the center of gravity and improve traction and stability;
  • tractors be kept in safe operating condition; and,
  • tractor operators consider environmental conditions and terrain and make necessary adjustments to accommodate to them.

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