Howards Ridge resident recovering after tractor accident

Howards Ridge resident Bobbie Head, 69, suffered multiple injuries Saturday when a tractor rolled over him. First responders from Lick Creek Volunteer Fire Head and an Ozark County Ambulance crew transported him to a landing zone at Highways J and T, and he was flown by Air Evac to Cox South Medical Center in Springfield, where he is recovering, according to his brother, Barney Head.

The accident happened on the Howards Ridge farm owned by Wayne and Sue Cobb, who had given the Head brothers some steel I-beams, Barney said. The two men had gone to pick up the steel, accompanied by Barney’s daughter Kiya and her boyfriend, Wyatt Grisham.

They were working on a hillside, getting ready to drag the steel with Barney’s pickup and Bobbie’s tractor, when Barney heard Wyatt yell, “The tractor is rolling!”

Bobbie, working on the ground beside the tractor, “reached up to grab the steering wheel and step up on the tractor to stop it,” Barney said, when “the back tire caught his left leg and pulled him down under it. The tractor ran over him, from his foot on his left side all the way up, across his chest and over his head.”

Wyatt, who had been working alongside Bobbie, grabbed him just as the tractor started rolling. “He grabbed him as soon as he saw the back tire had him,” Barney said. “If Wyatt hadn’t pulled him and rolled him the way he did, the tractor would have gone straight up the middle of Bobbie. Wyatt was the hero.”

Wyatt also called 911, and emergency personnel converged on the scene.

“Bobbie never did lose consciousness. He was awake during the whole thing,” Barney said. “I was sitting there with him, and he was in pain. He has a pacemaker on his left side, and he was worried about that more than anything. The tractor went over it, and he kept pointing to where it was in his chest.” 

At the Springfield hospital, the medical team discovered that Bobbie had seven broken ribs (“and five of them are broken in multiple places,” Barney said), a broken sternum and a badly broken nose that the doctor said will have to be reconstructed. His cheek bone and eye socket on the left side are also broken, and he has a gash under his left eye. 

Still, despite all his injuries, Barney said, “they got him up Sunday and made him walk four or five times because they didn’t want him to get pneumonia.”

And he’s been able to talk to family members. “He told Jo [his wife], ‘I’m just not as agile as I used to be.’ I told him, ‘Bobbie, when we get this age, who is?’” Barney said.

It’s expected that Bobbie will undergo surgery to repair his nose sometime in the future, but Barney said it’s possible that he might return home by the end of the week. 

Bobbie and his wife, Donna Jo, live on J Highway at Howards Ridge near the Lick Creek VFD. 

Prayers are appreciated, Barney said. And anyone who might want to send money to help with medical expenses could make checks payable to Bobbie Head and mail them c/o Barney Head, 2766 State Highway J, Gainesville, MO 65655.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423

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