A 60-year-old male minister and part-time farmer began mowing a 15-acre field near his home at about 11:00 am. Operating a farm tractor with a side sickle bar mower attached to the right side, he proceeded around the perimeter of the field. One edge of the field dropped off steeply to a ravine. While making the second pass around the field the ground under the left wheels gave way causing the tractor to roll over. The tractor came to rest on the victim causing massive internal injuries. A Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS) had been retro-fitted to the 1962 tractor about ten years prior to the incident. The tractor did not have a seat belt. The FACE investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, tractor operators should:

  • Equip ROPS-equipped tractors with seat belts. Operators should wear seat belts when operating ROPS equipped tractors.

Document Type


Release Date


Incident Number