Farmer dies after being run over by his tractor
A farmer has died after being thrown from his own tractor and run over by it.
The 54-year-old man, named locally as Kevin Vallance, was driving on an unclassified road in West Devon on Sunday evening when he was ejected from the vehicle and then trapped by its machinery.
The farmer, who was from the Okehampton area, was pulled out by local residents who began first aid procedures including CPR, before he was airlifted to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where he later died. It is thought that Mr Vallance suffered a heart attack at the time of the incident.
He is understood to be part of a large family who were well-known in the area.
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The Reverend Jane Lucas, the parish priest at Beaworthy, said the incident was "very sad".
The farmer's tractor, towing an empty trailer, is thought to have mounted a verge on the country lane in Beaworthy causing one of the wheels to drop into a drainage gully between the verge and the hedge.
Mark Smale, organic geese and sheep farmer at Bason Farm near Holsworthy, described the death as a "tragic accident".
The fourth generation farmer said: "Farming is inherently dangerous and its consequences can sometimes be horrendous.
"Most farmers are well aware of the dangers involved."
The farmer was travelling towards Chilla from the direction of Halwill Junction at around 5.50pm when the incident happened.
Zyg Gregorek, director of Anglers Paradise at nearby Halwill, said: "I was hosting a barbecue when the police helicopter began circling overhead.
"We didn't know exactly what had happened, but have since heard it was an awful tragedy."
The farmer's next-of-kin have been informed, although he has not been formally identified.