A former member of the Planning Board in Riverhead, New York was killed in a tractor accident on January 25th, 2018. Lyle Wells became entangled in the rear of the tractor and his body was found after he failed to return home. He was working alone at the time, and the circumstances of the accident are under investigation.
Farming is hard work, and many farmers are stretched thin trying to get everything done. There are only so many hours in a day, and moving quickly from job to job can be the difference between losing money and bringing in the harvest on time. This can be a strong motivation to work alone, but working with farm equipment is best done in pairs.
The advantages of a partner are many. An extra set of eyes can be useful, particularly for monitoring the function of the equipment and ensuring that all the pieces seem to be working together properly. A spotter can recognize unexpected smoke or smells coming from engines or other parts of the equipment. A second individual can also work to free a person if they become trapped or engaged in the machinery in some way.
Even if a partner cannot prevent the accident from occurring, having another person present can help provide closure to the family by helping investigators determine what went wrong. Without a witness, it can be difficult to figure out whether the accident was caused by mechanical malfunction or some other cause.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a farming equipment accident, you are well aware of how important it is to determine what went wrong. Many farm accidents are caused by improperly maintained or manufactured equipment. Please, consult with an experienced attorney about your case.