Farming death

Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:26 pm

From an Indiana newspaper:

PORTER TOWNSHIP | A 25-year-old man who was badly injured in a farming accident Sunday afternoon at his family's farm southwest of Valparaiso has died.

Kyle Gustafson, of 80 S. County Road 200 West, died Monday afternoon at Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus.

Porter County Coroner Vicki Deppe said the cause of death was blunt force trauma/crushing injuries.

Gustafson was run over or otherwise became pinned under the grain platform of the combine he was operating, Porter County police said.

Police said Gustafson was not breathing, had no pulse and was turning purple when emergency responders arrived at the accident scene. He also had abrasions to his chest, arms and shoulders. Police and firefighters began CPR and used a defibrillator on his heart.

Gustafson was taken to Porter hospital for treatment. Police said Gustafson's breathing and heart functions were being medically assisted, but he ended up dying of his injuries.

Police said the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday in the soybean field from which Gustafson and his father, Keith Gustafson, were removing the soybeans -- the father working on the east end and the son on the west end.

Keith Gustafson told police he saw his son's combine stopped for about 10 minutes, so he asked his wife, Mary, to check on their son. She discovered him pinned under the combine's grain platform -- with the engine still running. Keith Gustafson entered the cab, raised the grain platform the backed away the combine while his wife called 911.

Keith Gustafson told police there had been mechanical problems with the grain platform on the 1980 International combine. An Indiana conservation officer who owns a similar combine found that the grain platform was malfunctioning by automatically lowering itself.