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Farm worker recovers after mishap

PUBLISHED: 15:27 03 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

AN elderly farm worker is in hospital today after he was crushed under a tractor in a freak accident while helping with the harvest at an orchard in Hadleigh.

AN elderly farm worker is in hospital today after he was crushed under a tractor in a freak accident while helping with the harvest at an orchard in Hadleigh.

Retired Michael Fisk of Calais Road, Hadleigh was airlifted to Ipswich Hospital following the accident at Town House Fruit Farm on Hook Lane just before 2.30pm on Saturday.

Mr Fisk, who is a well-known character around town, is believed to have under gone an operation on his arm after it became trapped underneath the heavy farm vehicle.

Businessman Andrew Bird, who runs the fruit farm with his wife Sue, today praised the rapid response of emergency services.

"The amazing thing was because the Raydon air show was going on, my wife happened to be on a hill watching the aeroplanes and that's how somebody heard him when he called out," he said.

"I was working nearby but over the engine of my tractor I wouldn't have heard anything. It is apple harvest time and he was moving some boxes about.

"How he got to where he was I don't know but within a quarter of an hour we had the fire engine, a paramedic, an ambulance and the air ambulance as well."

Neighbour Tony Dugdale described how he and Mr Bird and another man were able to lift the tractor and free Mr Fisk and another neighbour and former nurse was able to stem excessive bleeding until the arrival of the emergency services.

"Fortunately the tractor was only on his arm. I think it had run over his arm and the wheels had caught his clothing and I think the tractor must have stalled.

"He was just so lucky as if it had been six inches over he would have been crushed. The ground is quite steep there, I think he must have fallen off."

The ship designer added: "The emergency services should be praised. You couldn't ask for a better response time for what was in fact a fairly remote part of Suffolk."

An ambulance, rapid response vehicle, and fire crews from Hadleigh attended the scene of the accident and the Suffolk air ambulance carried the injured Mr Fisk to hospital.

Mr Fisk has worked at the farm for many years and although he is now retired he continues to help out and often walks his dog in fields nearby.

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