Virginia farmer featured in slow-vehicle safety video

· February 21, 2019

A new safety video put out by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles features a farmer and Farm Bureau member, Wallick Harding of Amelia County. In it, he talks about a tractor accident that came close to taking his life.

On Jan. 27, 2018, while he was moving a tractor from one field to another on U.S. Route 360 like he’d done for decades, Harding was rear-ended by a motorist. The impact shoved the tractor off the road and into a tree, causing Harding to go into cardiac arrest and resulting in a brain injury.

He spent three days in a coma, 13 days in an intensive care unit and week in a rehabilitation facility re-learning how to walk.

These days, “everybody’s distracted and in a hurry,” Harding said.

Stats show that about 19 percent of U.S. residents live in rural areas, but nearly 50 percent of crash deaths occur there. 

The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Committee tracked 10 farm-related fatalities between December 2017 and December 2018, making last year “one of the worst years in the recent history of farm accidents in Virginia,” said William “Bear” Lloyd, a Washington County farmer and member of the committee. The Young Farmers, along with the VFBF Women’s Committee, have made farm safety one of their main areas of focus. The Young Farmers also have a safety subcommittee that works to keep farm safety issues in front of Farm Bureau members.

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