Two teen girls recount how they rushed to lift a 3,000-pound tractor off of their father who was pinned between the heavy, red machine and dirt. KGW's Pat Dooris reports.
A man who was pinned by his overturned tractor and losing breath with each scream says he was saved by his two teenage daughters, who found the strength to lift the ton-and-a-half machine.
Jeff Smith of Lebanon, Ore., was trying to pull a stump out of his garden last Monday when his muddy boot slipped off the clutch. The tractor flipped, and the steering wheel pinned his chest to the ground.
The daughters, 16-year-old Hannah and 14-year-old Haylee, heard him screaming and ran to help. They reportedly lifted the tractor enough to free his torso and give him room to breathe.
“It’s amazing. You hear about this kind of stuff — this adrenaline rush, being able to pick cars up and slide people out,” Smith told KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland. “You never realize it’s really there until you actually witness it.”
The girls tried to dig their father’s arm out but struck compacted dirt. Hannah got on her four-wheeler and found a neighbor, who brought his own tractor and used its shovel to finish freeing Smith, the Albany Democrat-Herald newspaper reported.
Jesse Skoubo / Mid-Valley Sunday
Jeff Smith sits astride his tractor alongside his daughters Hannah, 16, and Haylee, 14 at his Oregon home Saturday afternoon.
Smith was treated at the hospital for a broken wrist and other injuries. Hannah said she called her mother before the ambulance ride. The mother thought it was an April Fool’s joke.
“I just can’t believe it happened, honestly,” Hannah told the newspaper. “We were supposed to go to a friend’s house. I don’t know why we didn’t.”
Since the ordeal, neighbors have finished tilling the garden, and the family has nicknamed the tractor Satan.
This story was originally published on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:11 PM EDT