The Grim Harvest
Farmer - Autumn ATV Rollover
In autumn 2007 a self employed farmer in his 60s was fatally injured after being trapped underneath his ATV in a creek.
It was late in the day when the victim travelled to the pump shed that supplies water to the farm. The deceased had been having problems with a water pipe downstream from the pump. The victim's wife expected the task to take 30 minutes so became concerned when he failed to return and went to look for him.
After some time, she saw a light in a creek. Upon closer inspection she realised that the light came from her husband's ATV, which was lying partially over him. He was not completely pinned down by the ATV, but was lying face down in the weed.
The ATV was found in reverse gear. It is thought that the victim reversed over the bank of the creek after misjudging his proximity to the creek's bank. The weather conditions at the time of the incident were stormy and light was fading. This may have limited visibility and made it difficult to identify the edge of the bank.
At some point during the ATV rollover the victim sustained a fractured neck and was found with his face in the creek water.
A warning label on the victim's ATV states: Reverse operation can be dangerous even at low speeds. Steering control becomes difficult. When backing up, proceed slowly and apply hand brakes carefully; aggressive braking may result in flip-over. Avoid backing downhill. Avoid turning at sharp angles in reverse.
This autumn, if a situation looks or feels dodgy then STOP. THINK about your options and DO act in the safest way.