Man Dies in Morning Crash

When we hear of a fatality in a two vehicle crash, we usually picture two cars or trucks involved in the incident.  However, in this fatal traffic accident, a car and a tractor were the vehicles involved. 

A two-vehicle crash left a Breton man dead Monday morning.

Alabama State Troopers are continuing to investigate the crash that left John Daniel Rowell, 68, dead.  Rowell was killed when the tractor he was driving was struck by another vehicle on Highway 41 North.

Orrie Odom of Range, Alabama was the driver of the vehicle that struck Rowell’s farm tractor.  Odom, who was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer, was not hurt in the crash.

The crash was reported just after 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning according to officials with the Evergreen post of the Alabama State Highway Patrol.

Witnesses at the scene stated both vehicles were southbound on Highway 41  when the Blazer driven by Odom struck the tractor from behind. State Trooper Cameron Fillingim responded to the crash and is continuing the investigation.

The scene was secured after the accident and the roadway remained closed to traffic for approximately two hours while law enforcement officials searched for clues in the incident.

Farm tractors are the major cause of occupational fatalities in agricultural regions.  The fatalities typically occur from being run over or crushed by the tractor, becoming entangled in the moving parts of the tractor, accidents on roadways, and tractor rollovers.

Brandon Moore, Young Farmer’s Director for the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, cited farm fatality statistics: tractor accidents, 36 percent; other agricultural machines, 19 percent; animal handling, 5 percent; and tractor plus equipment, 55 percent.

Of tractor accidents, Brandon noted 51 percent are overturns, 26 percent are runovers  and 4 percent are PTO (Power Take Offs) entanglements.

Annually, 300 to 400 tractor-related deaths occur on U.S. Farms.  Two safety features that are recommended by OSHA to help prevent farm tractor fatalities are a standard seat-belt and a standard roll-over protection structure.