Welcome Bay farmer crushed by tractor

A 71-year-old farmer was taken to Tauranga Hospital today with head injures, a broken leg and ribs after he was crushed by a tractor on his Welcome Bay farm at 7.25am.

Jack Van Silfhout was driving down a slope heading for the fenceline to look for a missing cow when the tractor hit a pothole, slid and then rolled three or four times, leaving him lying on the paddock as the tractor flipped again back onto its wheels.

Family said he was conscious when they reached him and he was able to talk, but with difficulty because of his rib injuries. St John Ambulance was called and Police assisted ambulance personnel to stretcher Mr Van Silfhout up the hillside and down a farm track for several hundred metres until they reached a yard.

Mr Van Silfhout had more than 30 years experience with large machinery. He celebrated his 71st birthday two days earlier with his wife Matilda and family.

- By John Cousins of the Bay of Plenty Times

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