Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Tractor accident escape

A Katunga farmer injured in a tractor accident believes he could have died in the incident.

GEOFF ADAMS November 14, 2012 4:03am

Katunga farmer Trevor Honey is recovering at home after a tractor accident on his farm.

‘‘I’m able to be here with my wife and family; that’s the main thing.’’

Trevor Honey is seated at the kitchen table of his Katunga farm house, just five weeks after a tractor ran over him, shattering two spinal vertebrae and breaking a leg.

He can still recall the horror of seeing the underneath of the tractor as it rolled over him.

Mr Honey was airlifted by helicopter ambulance from the paddock and taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

On the day Country News called on Mr Honey his leg was strapped up, his knee sported a nasty scar and he was wearing a back brace.

He spent three weeks in hospital and the first week he described himself as ‘‘a mess’’.

Mr Honey was using a tractor and machine to feed out a roll of lucerne hay on his beef and cropping hobby farm on the morning of October 9.

He was driving the tractor in first gear, creeping along at what he estimated would be about three or four km/h, when he noticed the feeder was not getting any traction on the roll.

He jumped off the medium-sized Massey Ferguson tractor between the engine and the rear wheel and after fixing the problem on the feeder, returned to re-mount the tractor in the same way he got off, while it was still moving.

He went to grab the steering wheel to pull himself up when he slipped and the tyre caught his right leg.

‘‘I remember seeing the underneath of the tractor and the whole lot going over the top of me.

‘‘I was conscious the whole time.

‘‘It was very scary for a few seconds.’’

The feed machine must also have rolled over him, although he can’t recall the detail.

Mr Honey’s wife Kathleen was in the paddock at the time.

‘‘It all happened very quickly,’’ she said.

Mr Honey remembers: ‘‘I thought I was okay but when I went to get up I couldn’t and I realised the leg was broken.’’

Mrs Honey ran back to the farmhouse to call an ambulance.

Mr Honey recalls the ambulance officers discussing his back injury and opting to have an air ambulance called. That worried him.

A neighbour who came to his aid while Mr Honey was lying in the paddock told him: ‘‘Don’t worry about anything mate, we’ll look after it.’’

And they did.

Friends and neighbours helped to bring in a cut of hay on his property.

Mr Honey has been on farms all his life.

‘‘I just love what I do here.’’

But the father of two will be changing some of his work practices in the future.

He urges farmers to be careful around tractors.

‘‘I will rethink what I do and do it in a different way.

‘‘I am grateful to be sitting here in this chair.

‘‘I said to a couple of my mates: I may have been gone; not here in this world any more.’’

Today Mr Honey relies on a walker to move around his house and takes pain medication four times a day, but hopes to make a full recovery and get back to his own hobby farm and resume his job working on a dairy farm.

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