Wallace Gregg from Co. Antrim was travelling in his tractor with his two sons James and Simon. The older of the two boys, eight-year-old James was standing in the cab by the door when the tractor hit a bump, the door opened, and he fell out.
“James was out of the tractor and falling before I realised what was happening” recalls Wallace. In the short moments, it took for Wallace to reach his son, the young boy was lying on the side of the road going in and out of consciousness.
“I had to ring my wife with one of those phone calls that you never want to make,” said Wallace about calling his wife with the news. “It was a very worrying time” he added.
James was put into an induced coma at the hospital and was connected to a ventilator. He spent the night in intensive care with a double fracture of the skull.
Wallace was sure that it wouldn’t happen to them; however, “The accident happened within the blink of an eye” he said.
Since then, James has made a remarkable recovery and got the all clear from the specialist just after Christmas. “We’re very lucky that he has recovered the way he has given the seriousness of the accident,” said Wallace.
It was unknown to Wallace that it is against the law for any child under thirteen to travel in a tractor.
“If you have had an accident in a tractor if a door opens or somebody else crashes into you, and you have a child in that tractor, it can have very serious consequences”. That’s the one thing I’ve learned, it can happen to you. Don’t have the children in the tractor” insists Wallace.
Falling from tractors is a common cause of child farm fatalities.
Image Source: HSNI