Slayton man recovering after being pinned under tractor

HIGHWAY LANDING — A North Memorial Health Air Care helicopter used U.S. Highway 59 near Garvin Corner as a landing pad Sunday in response to a farm accident that left Brad Pagel temporarily pinned underneath a tractor. Mechanical issues with the aircraft prevented it from transporting Pagel to a medical facility. Instead, he was brought to Sanford Tracy, then airlifted to Sioux Falls, SD, from there.

By Per Peterson

A farm accident Sunday afternoon in Custer Township between Garvin and Balaton left Brad Pagel of Slayton pinned underneath a tractor.

And the 49-year-old knows just how lucky he is.

“I have very minor injuries — I got lucky,” he said Tuesday afternoon from his hospital room at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

Balaton Fire Chief Troy Wendland was just a little over two miles away when the call went out shortly before 3 p.m. on Sunday. Because of his proximity to the scene, he was the first to arrive.

“I was in my yard, so I knew it was our call right away,” Wendland said. “I saw it was an open-station tractor, so there was no cab on it, but it did have a loader on it. It had tipped over and he was pinned between the seat and the ground. He was crushed so he couldn’t breathe.”

See this week’s Headlight-Herald, for more on this article.