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Farmer seriously injured when SUV hits tractor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 21:22

Town of Fredonia man flown to hospital after distracted driver strikes farm vehicle from behind on Highway 57

Former Ozaukee County Supr. Rose Hass Leider said God was looking over her son Lance Sunday night, when the John Deere tractor he was driving home was struck from behind by a sport utility vehicle on Highway 57.

The tractor went into the ditch and rolled, pinning Lance underneath it.

“It’s a miracle he’s alive,” Leider said. “I thank God for that — he’s going to make it.”

Her son, a farmer and former Town of Fredonia supervisor, sustained serious injuries and was taken by a Flight for Life helicopter from the accident scene north of Hickory Grove Road to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.

He is recouperating at the hospital with injuries to his legs, ribs and kidney, Leider said.

Lance Leider, 60, had been at his mother’s house that afternoon, helping clean up the remains of a dead tree, Leider said. The two had dinner, then Lance headed home to milk his cows with his daughter Valerie Pieper around 7:30 p.m.

Lance was riding his tractor, which had a front end loader attachment on it, in the right lane on Highway 57 when a Ford Expedition driven by Douglas Haydin, 29, of Port Washington came up behind him.

At the last second, Haydin attempted to change lanes but his vehicle clipped the left tire on the tractor, Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Lt. Wayne Lambrecht said.

Lance Leider’s tractor went into the ditch and rolled, pinning him, Lambrecht said, while Haydin’s vehicle went into the median.

Several passers-by called 911 to report the accident, and agencies including the Ozaukee and Sheboygan County sheriff’s departments, Waubeka, Fredonia, Random Lake, Port Washington and Saukville fire departments and the Ozaukee County Hazmat Team responded. 

Rose Leider said she was closing her house for the night when she looked out a window.

“I looked out the bedroom window and saw the tractor tipped over and my son underneath,” she said.

She hurried to the scene, where a wrecker from Lanser Garage and Towing had been called in to lift the tractor off her son, and called family and friends

Lambrecht said the Flight for Life helicopter landed on the roadway at about the same time the wrecker lifted the tractor. Lance Leider was placed in an ambulance and cared for until he was stabilized, Lambrecht said, then moved to the helicopter for transport.

“He’s probably going to have a long recovery,” Lambrecht said.

Haydin, his wife and three children, ages 8 and younger, were transported to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, where they were treated for minor injuries, Lambrecht said.

After the helicopter and ambulances left the scene, Lambrecht said, the fire departments washed the roadway, which had been covered by a molasses-like substance used as ballast in tractor tires. 

“It was all over the road, the tractor and the ditch,” he said.

They then reopened Highway 57, which was closed for about two hours as emergency workers dealt with the accident.

Lambrecht said speed is not believed to be a contributing factor in the accident.

However, he said, Haydin told deputies he was distracted by the children in his vehicle when the accident occurred.

Haydin was cited for inattentive driving and failure to have insurance, Lambrecht said.

Rose Leider said the farming community has been calling the family with offers to help while her son is recovering.

Her son is at least the fourth generation of Leiders to run the family farm, which has 55 cows, she said. His daughters Valerie Pieper and Cheyenne Leider are handling much of the work right now. 

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