Man dies after being pinned by tractor

A man has died after being pinned underneath a tractor in the Far North.

The Kaitāia Fire Brigade, St John and the Northland Rescue Helicopter were called to Okahu Rd near Kaitāia shortly after 5pm on Tuesday.

Firefighters freed the man but he died on the way to hospital.

Brigade senior station officer Colin “Toss” Kitchen said the accident happened a long way down a farm track.

“We really couldn’t get our trucks down there so we went down and did a recce. A guy was there, trapped under the back wheel by his two legs, badly. He had been trapped there since about 10 o’clock in the morning.”

A neighbour had found the injured man after his wife realised he had not come home, Kitchen said.

The man was “very brave”, Kitchen said, and was talking to firefighters as they worked to free him. Brigade members had to hook up their four-wheel drive and stabilise the tractor before they could lift it off the man.

“It was not a dangerous rescue, but there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong,” Kitchen said.

The man was finally released around 7.30pm, by which time the rescue helicopter had arrived, and the injured man was transported to Whangārei Hospital.

However, he had a cardiac arrest and died on the way, Kitchen said.

“It was a bit of a tragedy and events like that have an effect on the volunteers, but we did our best.”