Contact: Lt. Joel Roon
Supervisor Approval: Lt. Roon
Incident Type: Farming Accident With Fatal Injuries
GAINES Township, Kent County (April 27, 2020): Shortly before 9:00 p.m. deputies were dispatched to a report of a tractor that was out of control and driverless. Deputies arrived and found the tractor doing circles in the field with an implement attached. The operator was located laying in the field a short distance away, unresponsive, with severe injuries. As first responders were tending to the victim, the tractor broke free from the implement it was towing, ran it over, and then proceeded across the field before striking an unoccupied Ford F550 from the Dutton Fire Department. The tractor pushed the F550 into an embankment where it was unable to travel any further and stalled.
The operator and lone occupant was presumably struck by the tractor. He has been identified as Allen Whitcomb (73) of Byron Center who was pronounced dead at the scene. No other parties were injuried, and the cause of the accident remains under investigation.