Farm Industry News Blog

Saved by my cell phone

A month ago I was putting liquid nitrogen on our cornfields. I stopped at my home and partially filled my tank and talked to my wife and then left to do a small field at 5:30 p.m. When I was driving down to the field, I managed to flip the tank sideways. When it flipped, it partially flipped the tractor. I was violently thrown off over the rear fender of the John Deere 4020.

When I regained consciousness, I found myself in a tight situation. My one hip was pinned by the back tractor tire and the other hip was pinned to the ground with my butt squashed between the two. I tried to wiggle out several times with no luck, and I yelled for help for a minute or so until I could see that it was doing no good. I was bleeding on my face and felt that my lungs were filling up with blood. The rear wheel of the tractor was hovering over me at a perilous angle right above my torso. My legs were starting to swell up and I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it until my wife would come looking for me at dark.  

Then I remembered that I put my cell phone in my shirt pocket. I usually don't carry it and when I do I put it in my pants pockets. I zipped my hooded sweatshirt down and found the cell phone still where I had put it. I called my wife and told her I needed help right away because I probably wasn't going to live much longer. She called 911 and started gathering up chains.

Firemen started to arrive 4 minutes later. I wanted them to pull the tractor off me with chains and was giving them all kinds of suggestions. They said no, they were going to use air bags from their Jaws of Life kit. It took about 15 minutes to pump them up far enough to take the pressure of the tractor off me. In the meantime the rescue squad leader had cut my clothes off. Then they loaded me into the helicopter that was waiting to take me to the hospital. I was X-rayed and they found my pelvis had cracks in it. I spent the next seven days in intensive care, then two more weeks in the hospital's rehab unit.  

I am home now and getting home health care, including physical and occupational therapy. The pelvis is healing and I am able to move a little bit more each day. One of my neighbors wants to take me to Reno, Nev., to gamble for him. Both he and I realize that the odds of me ever getting out of the predicament that I was in (in one piece) were low. The pelvis cracks were extremely painful the first couple weeks. I am still scared senseless.  

This is something I never want to go through again. Pelvis fractures usually come from high-speed car accidents. If people could feel the pain that I felt, everybody would be driving 55 mph! Lesson learned: Even if you have been doing things the same way for years, review all your farming practices for safety issues. From now on I'll always carry my cell phone buttoned in my shirt pocket. It saved my life! 

Daryl's John Deere 4020 tractor after the accident:

Discuss this Blog Entry 12

on Apr 5, 2013

You were really lucky and the experience you have been through points to the fact that a phone actually acts as a savior when you are trouble. Especially a satellite phone really helps you find the ideal solution, but you are better off borrowing a satellite phone than buying one.

on Jun 15, 2013

It really shows that how important the little device could be, if you are planning a high altitude trek or a jungle safari do have your phone with you.

on Oct 31, 2013

It is really amazing to think that one little gadget has the power to save lives. Telecommunication system has become more advanced with time, we need better connectivity so that we could save ourselves and others from such situations. In business too staying connected matters which I have realized during the course of running my small business from home, I found the perfect solution at

on Aug 20, 2013

You were indeed saved by your phone, it really shows the importance of telecommunication. You always need to be in touch with people to be able to stay safe. Communication plays a vital role in business as well, that is the reason for my firm I hired the service of Contact One Call Center.

on Sep 2, 2013

You should indeed thank your phone for saving your life, you were in such a critical condition that without your phone you would not have been able to come out of that tractor. We can not do without our phones especially without our smart phones, I have recently bought an unlocked iphone for my work.

on Sep 17, 2013

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on Oct 19, 2013

Your cell indeed saved you from that grave situation. Without your phone you would not have been able to contact anyone, it does point up the necessity of having these little devices always with us. Make sure that your cell phone is functioning properly, if it is causing problem then Replace Your Cell.

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on May 4, 2014

The rear wheel of the tractor was hovering over me at a perilous angle right above my torso. My legs were starting to swell up and I was pretty sure I wouldn't make it until my wife would come looking for me at dark
Regards Joyce

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The Farm Industry News Blog features commentary from Willie Vogt, Jodie Wehrspann, Kathy Huting, Lynn Grooms, Daryl Bridenbaugh and Jeff Ryan.

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