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Published July 30, 2009, 07:25 AM

Toad Lake farmer run over by tractor in critical condition in Fargo

Family members are optimistic that the victim of a tractor accident will recover from his injuries.

Family members are optimistic that the victim of a tractor accident will recover from his injuries.

Michael Leroy Horstmann, 57, was taken by air ambulance July 23 to Innovis Hospital in Fargo after being run over by a tractor in the Toad Lake area. According to family members, Horstmann was in critical, but stable, condition as of Monday.

“He’s a very strong man, very strong-willed,” said his sister-in-law Terry Wien, who has set up a benefit account at United Community Bank. “He is in an induced coma, but his brain waves are normal, and they checked for internal injuries.”

Complicating the recovery is the fact that he is diabetic, noted Wien. Horstmann sustained broken ribs, punctured lungs and face injuries.

“I’m convinced that he will walk out of the hospital,” said his father-in-law, Harlan Wien, Perham. “He’s a tough guy.”

“It’s probably good that they have him in a coma, because if he was awake and knew where he was, he’d probably get up and walk out of the hospital,” said Terry Wien.

Horstmann’s wife is Ann (Wien), and she is still recovering from hip surgery.

The family does not have medical insurance, said Terry Wien. In addition to farming, Horstmann was a trucker--which was the family’s primary means of support, she added.

The accident happened while Horstmann and his son, Lee Michael Horstmann, 30, were trying to jump-start a John Deere 4630 tractor with a pickup truck and jumper cables. They were in a field northwest of 165th Street, near Evergreen in Becker County.

The pickup was parked on the left side of the tractor, facing it, and both men were standing in front of the large dual rear wheels.

The tractor started and jumped forward, knocking Michael to the ground and coming to rest on top of his head and upper torso area, stalling when it hit the pickup truck. Lee was able to get out of the way and suffered just minor scrapes.

He pulled the tractor off Michael with the pickup truck, while another man, John James Cavanagh, went to the farmhouse and phoned for help.

Rescue workers from Wolf Lake Fire, Wolf Lake Rescue, North Memorial Ambulance, North Memorial Air Ambulance, Perham Ambulance, the Frazee Police Department and the Becker County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene, where first-aid was provided until the victim was airlifted to Fargo.

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