Neil Thomson struggles to come to terms with forklift accident

At last a beautiful, breezy harvest evening. I am writing this thanks to my “smartphone” as I wait for the combine to fill. An event that is taking a lot longer than I would have hoped this year. After the monsoon season abated, we have managed to finish the spring barley that averaged a paltry 4.7t/ha. The poorest yield I can remember. I am not looking forward to getting the results from the wheat.

An incident happened recently where a man had a finger severed in an accident involving a forklift. The victim is a good friend of mine. Who was the operator of the forklift? Well, it was me. What happened is something that I am struggling to come to terms with.

It was one of those split seconds that you wish had never happened, you want to rewind the clock. But it has happened and was as traumatic as you might expect, but not at the immediate time for the victim. Adrenaline is an amazing hormone. There was very little blood, but the realisation of what I had done to the poor guy sent me into a tailspin pretty soon after he was taken away in the ambulance. What can I say? Sorry? It doesn’t seem enough. But I am so sorry, sorry to him, his wife and kids. It is an awful feeling knowing you have hurt someone, knowing that for the rest of his life he is maimed thanks to a moment of stupidity.

All I can hope that all of you reading this will think before you act, and are never either the victim or the perpetrator of an accident. My heartfelt thanks, though, go to my friends, my dear wife and family and also James, the victim, whose compassion to me has been so very touching. Without their support this whole sorry saga would have been even more difficult to deal with.

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