Farmer Crushed Under Free Standing Grain Bin Struck by Horses and/or Manure Spreader

Michigan Case Report: 14MI200
Release Date:


In fall 2014, a male dairy farmer in his 20s died when he was crushed by a falling freestanding (unsecured) grain bin containing approximately six tons of grain after it was struck by bolting horses and/or the trailing manure spreader. The grain bin was positioned on a concrete pad between two barn access points on the east side of the barn. Two horses were hitched to a manure spreader. The manure spreader was positioned inside of the barn; the horses were positioned in the barn facing east (outward) at the main barn access. The decedent was shoveling manure into the spreader when for reasons unknown, one or both of the horses were spooked, and bolted from the barn. As the horses turned to the south, the spreader struck the frame of the barn door and a bumper post, and then the horses and/or the spreader struck the grain bin. The decedent exited the second access to try to catch the horses. (See Figure 1). He ran into the path of the falling grain bin. A family member heard a loud crash and went outside, noticed the bin had fallen, investigated, and found the decedent under the bin. The family did not have a phone, so the family member ran down the driveway to use a neighbor’s phone. She was met by the rural mail carrier who made the emergency call. Emergency response arrived and directed a neighbor using a front end loader to roll the bin from the decedent. He was declared dead at the scene.

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Page last reviewed: September 24, 2018