A 65-year-old farmer died after his tractor overturned, pinning him underneath. The victim, working alone, began mowing with a bush hog along the perimeter of a soy bean field. At approximately 12:30 pm, the victim was about 1/4 mile from the main road mowing blackberry briars along a creek bed. This area was between the bean field and a creek embankment. Having made two cuts into the brush about 30 feet apart for the purpose of marking the creek edge, he proceeded to make a third cut. He backed the tractor, bush hog attached, toward the embankment. The 3-point hitch bush hog extended over the embankment. The tractor continued to roll backward falling from the embankment into the creek bed. It turned over and pinned the victim between the ground and the tractor. Several hours later, his brother-in-law, worried because the victim had not returned, began a search. The victim was found alive under the tractor at about 5:30 pm. His brother-in-law called the rescue squad at 5:55 pm. They arrived at 6:06 pm and began extrication procedures. The victim was transferred from the field in the back of pickup truck to the main road. He was then transported to the local hospital, and later transferred to a larger medical facility. He died at 4:15 am the following day. The FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar incidents, tractor owners and operators should:

  • Retro fit older model tractors with Roll Over Protective Structures (ROPS) and seat belts.
  • Keep equipment in good working condition.

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