P.E.I. Man killed in tractor roll-over had bought it that day

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FREELAND - The Freeland man killed Wednesday when his tractor overturned on top of him was likely still getting used to the machine, RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar suggested Thursday.

Blackadar, operations analyst with “L” Division RCMP, said Foster Leroy Wagner, 78 had only taken possession of the vintage farm tractor earlier in the day.

“He was probably playing with it in the back yard and decided to see if he could pull a stump out,” Blackadar said. “Whether he actually jerked it with the tractor or he was just giving it more gas because nothing was moving; as he was doing that, of course he had no weight on the front of the tractor, and the front end just lifted up, throwing him off. But then, because the throttle was still up, the tractor continued right over and then landed on top of him,” he said.

Blackadar said Wagner’s wife had been outside with him but went inside to prepare supper. She discovered the accident when she returned outside about 10 minutes later, around 5 p.m., to call him for supper.

“It was just a terrible accident,” Blackadar commented.

The Tyne Valley Fire Department arrived on the scene within minutes and ambulance and police arrived soon after.

Firefighters, however, had to wait for the coroner to arrive before removing the tractor and the body.

“It’s a lot better if the coroner actually sees the scene,” Blackadar explained.

An autopsy was performed on the body Thursday morning, but Blackadar said results were not available late Thursday afternoon.

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  • Bill Seaman, Moncton, NB
    July 20, 2013 - 10:28

    I saw the tractor that overturned on the victim. I sold farm machinery for over 50 years and I suspect that this was a case of a novice operator, not told of the do's and don'ts of operating such a machine. I suspect that he hooked his chain to the top link to get more traction, which is the most dangerous thing you can do with a tractor. It makes roll bars and seat belts being made mandatory all the more sensible, even though in that particular tractor retrofitting would cost more than the value of the tractor.