A farm contractor is calling for more awareness of agricultural machinery on the road after he narrowly avoided serious injury in a horrific tractor crash.
Richard Bayliss, 32, was involved in a serious road traffic accident involving his Fendt tractor, a red VW Polo and a silver Fiesta van on Wednesday morning (7 September).
My Bayliss, a partner in Staffordshire-based RRT Farming Agricultural Tractors, was driving his Fendt 724 tractor on Stone Road, in Eccleshall, to pick up some Cambridge rolls.
He said the Polo, which was being driven by a 19-year-old woman, collided with his tractor. The driver of a third vehicle, the Fiesta, then was unable to avoid colliding with both vehicles.
Mr Bayliss said he was lucky not to have been ejected from the tractor cab. He walked away from the crash with minor injuries, but was treated for shock.
Since the accident, he has been prescribed painkillers for back pain. He is due to undergo further tests on his back this week.
Fire crews cut free the woman driver from the Polo. She was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was treated for a broken wrist and two suspected broken ribs.
The male driver of the Fiesta is said to have suffered only cuts and bruises.
‘Lucky to be alive’
The tractor’s axle and front wheels were torn off due to the force of the collision. The repair bill is £35,000, excluding labour, so it will likely be written off.
Mr Bayliss told Farmers Weekly: “Police told me that the young woman is very lucky to be alive. Cars can be replaced, but people can’t.
“However, we need to create more awareness among the public, especially in the countryside, about farm machinery on roads.
“The general public doesn’t care about us. They think we are a nuisance and should not be on the roads – that we are big, slow and it’s wrong.
“Yet we’re the ones who are feeding the country.”
Murray MacGregor, spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “We sent two ambulances to the scene.
“One patient was taken to the Royal Stoke Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. A second person, who complained of suffering from abdominal pain, refused hospital treatment.
A spokeswoman for Staffordshire Police said: “We received a call at around 9.35am on Wednesday 7 September reporting a collision between two cars, a red VW Polo, a silver Fiesta and a tractor.
“The collision happened outside the Hilcote Hall residential home near Eccleshall. The 19-year-old female driver of the Polo was trapped in the vehicle and was freed by colleagues from the fire and rescue service. She was later taken to hospital.
“The road was closed in both directions until 12.55pm while vehicles were recovered.”
Anyone with any information is asked to ring Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident 183 of 7 September.