Man napping in cornfield survives being run over by combine

2012-11-07T22:47:00Z 2012-11-08T11:03:09Z Man napping in cornfield survives being run over by combineBy CARMEN DAYE IRISH cirish@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A man taking a nap in a cornfield on the West End was run over Wednesday by a farmer who was harvesting corn.

Yellowstone County Sheriff's Lt. Kent O’Donnell said the 57-year-old, whose name will not be released, was passing through town on the Greyhound bus from Washington, D.C. He was walking along the 4900 block of Grand Avenue when he decided to take a rest.

“He said that he stepped off the busy road and about three rows of corn into the field,” O’Donnell said. “He said he didn’t have intentions of sleeping but fell asleep anyway.”

At about 1:15 p.m., the landowner drove a combine into the field to harvest corn. The farmer drove about 50 yards when the combine shuddered, O’Donnell said.

“The farmer thought he had driven over a fence post or an irrigation pipe, but once he turned the machine off, he could hear a man screaming,” he said.

The machine had caught the man’s clothing and sucked him into the cutter, O’Donnell said.

The Billings Fire Department, American Medical Response and the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office responded.

AMR was able to disconnect the equipment and manually turn the auger and blades backward to release the man.

The man was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare with non-life-threatening injuries. O’Donnell said he had deep lacerations that may require skin grafting as well as stitches.

There were no citations issued.

“For this situation, the man is incredibly lucky to be alive,” O’Donnell said. “And that’s about all you can say about that.”

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