On Sunday May 22, 1994, a 54-year-old part-time farmer died when the tractor he was operating rolled over, pinning him under water. The victim was pulling a wagon on which two children and one adult were riding on their way to the farmer's fishing pond. As the tractor approached the pond down a 14 degree slope, it began to slide on the loose ground. The tractor turned 180 degrees on the bank of the pond, then turned over into 4.5 feet of water. Evidence at the scene and from interviews with a rescuer indicate that the tractor rolled one half rotation into the pond. The tractor was not equipped with a Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) or occupant restraint. The KY FACE investigator concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, tractor owners and operators should:

  • Contact the county extension agent, equipment dealer or equipment manufacturer to see if retrofit rollover protection and operator restraint systems are available for their equipment.
  • Evaluate the terrain before beginning any activity that involves machinery.
  • Add additional weight in the form of wheel weights or liquid filled tires in order to provide traction and stability.


  • Information regarding tractor operation and safe handling should be easily accessible to part-time farmers.
  • Expand the services of 911.

Document Type


Release Date


Incident Number

94KY044; 94KY04401