NEOGA — Neoga fire and ambulance crews quickly worked to free a man who became trapped between the tire and the platform of his utility tractor Friday morning.
Alan Baker, Neoga assistant fire chief and paramedic, said a relative passing by the accident on a rural road alerted authorities. It was estimated the man had been stuck upside down for about 30 minutes by the time rescuers arrived at 11:32 a.m. He was freed by 11:36 a.m. and taken by ambulance to HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital.
He was later transferred to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
First responders cut the clutch pedal and pulled him out. But prior to their arrival, the victim had reached up and removed the distributor cap to shut down the engine, so the tires would stop turning.
"The tractor had wedged him in and we found him hanging upside down," said Baker. "He was driving along the ditch, hit a bump and because there were no fenders the tire knocked him down and wedged him between the tire and the platform."
Baker said he couldn't release the name of the male patient, but said his injuries were to his left hip and back from the tire.
"He's a pretty lucky guy," said Baker. "Most tractor accidents that I've been on don't have this positive outcome."
Baker said initially a medical helicopter was called, but was later canceled.
Also responding to the accident was a Cumberland County Sheriff's deputy. The incident was about three miles south of Neoga.
Dawn Schabbing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-347-7151, ext. 138