LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – Three Siouxland farmers died in the span of eight days after being involved in tractor rollover accidents.
Four farmers have been involved in rollover accidents recently. Even though they have been using their equipment for years, farm experts say its when a person gets too comfortable that these mistakes happen.
“In such a small community your first thought is ‘Oh is it somebody I know? I hope they are okay.’ You know, you just fear the worst,” said Teresa Peters, with Central Valley Ag.
On July 9, Hinton farmer Daniel Robinson was seriously injured after his tractor rolled, launching him into the ditch.
“When someone is hurt seriously or somebody is gone, there is always that gap that’s missing along with the families that are missing their family members,” Joel DeJong, with Iowa State Extension.
Farm officials say of all farming accidents, those involving a vehicle are most common.
“Lots of times, we get really tired and we keep working long hours. And we are working conditions that are not great and sometimes you just get fatigued, and when you get fatigued you make mistakes,” said DeJong.
New farm equipment has extra safety measures to help prevent rollover deaths.
“This is a small tractor, a small utility tractor. The bigger ones, they have the same protective structure in them. You just can’t see it, but this thing here in a rollover situation, they are tested they will not collapse,” said Troy Kneip.
Rollover bars can be installed on older tractors, but without wearing a seatbelt, drivers are still putting themselves in danger.
“It hits close to home. It’s a local resident who has been in the area for many years,” said Peters.
Farm officials said the late planting season has made farmers continue to overwork and maybe the source of some of these accidents.