Winter Weather Advisory
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016
I almost made the news yesterday, but not for good reasons.Posted Sunday, May 15, 2011, at 9:34 AM
The headline might have gone "Local weekend farmer dies after freak accident while gathering wood."
"he was found by his wife less than 100 yards from their home, bled to death from being pierced with a tree limb to one of his femoral arteries."
I was pulling some tree tops, left over from the selective logging we had done over the past few months into an area, where I cut them up for firewood.
As I was passing a tree I had previously drug into the area I brushed up against some limbs with the tractor. While they were pushing up against the side of the tractor, all looked to be going well until.....
In literally a blink of an eye, a limb snapped and changed direction. Two smaller limbs about the size of a wrist snapped into the cab area of the tractor and immediately pinned my right leg against the side while the other was head straight at my groin and femoral arteries.
Because the right leg was pinned, I could not get out of the seat. Trying to step on the clutch was blocked by this sharp, cracked limb moving quickly into my groin.
I have had enough angioplasties to know where they access the femoral artery in the groin and this limb was already pressing against. I stood up as much as I could with my right leg continuing to be pierced by the other limb.
That slight move changed the penetration by about an inch and the limb pushed into my leg as the tractor kept moving forward. The tractor fender finally came in contact with the limb and broke it, relieving the pressure. (maybe a period of 7-10 seconds)
I was able to reach the clutch and I immediately ripped open my jump suit to see if I was gushing blood. The bleeding was minimal so I knew I had dodged the big one. Then the pain took over, but I put the tractor back into gear to finish pulling the tree where I wanted it. (crazy practicality)
Getting back up the hill to the house was a mix of pain and nausea, but I am here now, writing about this so all worked out well. Of course, I walk like an extremely saddle sore rookie, but I will take that.
Lesson learned? I should have stopped when I could not get the chainsaw started, but these cool overcast days sure are nice to work in. I am thinking about trying the chainsaw this morning, but.....
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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.
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