LEICESTER – A huge steel gray combine harvester was apparently struck in the side by a car at about 6:34 a.m. Tuesday morning, resulting in a heroic coordinated rescue effort by several local fire departments, with a Mercy Flight helicopter standing by. Apparently, the driver tried to pass the combine near where Perry Road transitions into Pine Tavern Road, just beyond the town of Leicester.
Though the driver, Elizabeth Newland, 72, of Fillmore, had to be extracted from her car and was immediately transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty added that she sustained no life-threatening injuries.
The combine, an R-62 Gleaner made by AGCO, later went under urgent repairs at Old Acres Farm in Wyoming County. By 11 a.m., The big machine was pulled right up to Old Acres Farm’s garage, and most of the heavily damaged equipment on the front had already been taken off.
According to the Sheriff, a preliminary investigation revealed that both the combine and the passenger vehicle had been traveling eastbound when Newland’s vehicle apparently pulled out to pass the combine, only to find that there was a vehicle approaching in the opposite direction. A witness allegedly advised that the vehicle operated by Newland then attempted to come back into her lane, striking the combine in the side, causing both to spin out of control.
The driver of the combine sustained no injuries. The Sheriff added that the investigation is still ongoing, and no charges or tickets have been issued at this time.
According to their website, AGCO makes an extensive line of agricultural equipment out of Duluth, Georgia, including combines, tractors, hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, tillage, implements, grain storage and protein production systems, as well as replacement parts. No part of the R-62 combine is considered responsible for this incident.
Investigating members of the Sheriff’s Office included Captain Brian Applin, Captain Norman Zeh, Investigator Bradley Schneider, Sergeant Chad VanAuken, Deputy Bryan Mann, Deputy Stephanie Schroeder and Deputy Ross Gerace.
Rescue efforts were by Fire Departments from Cuylerville, Leicester, Mt Morris, Perry and Perry Center, along with the Livingston County Ambulance, Perry Ambulance, and Mercy Flight.
PHOTO CAPTION: Photo courtesy of Sgt Chad Van Auken.