Former Sheriff Joe Peavy Is “A Blessed Man”Oct 17th, 2013 | By Admin | Category: Front Page
By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
” I am really a blessed man,” said former sheriff Joe Peavy as he recuperated at his home Tuesday afternoon, speaking of his encounter with a runaway tractor the previous week, while he was working on his farm. After tangling with that tractor and the Bush Hog mowing machine behind it, he lived to tell the tale. “The Lord must have something else for me to do,” is the way he sees it. About 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, he went out to his shed to try to crank the tractor while standing beside it. It started up, but then it began to coast slowly backward. When Peavy reached over for the controls to try to stop it, he accidentally knocked it into gear. The big tractor suddenly lurched forward and knocked him to the ground. He was blessed with two bits of incredible good luck: first, that he fell between the two rear tires instead of under them, and second, that the Bush Hog mower was in the raised position, a little over a foot off the ground. Knocked onto his back, Peavy managed to squirm his head out between the right rear tire and the outer edge of the mowing machine just as it passed over him. He recalls the sound of the big mowing blades “whipping around in the air” above him, and just like the old adage, he saw his whole life flash before his eyes. The idling tractor continued moving forward, back into the shed, where it plowed through the rear wall and into a cow pen, before somehow turning right and crashing through another fence, into the backyard. Meanwhile, Peavy had scrambled to his feet, chased after it, caught up with it and switched it off just as his wife, Suzanne, drove up, saw what had happened and told him she was taking him to the hospital. He knew he had been hit, but, still running on adrenaline, he didn’t think he had been hurt that badly and protested that he didn’t need to go to the hospital. Then he looked down and saw the blood running from his arms, leg, and middle. “They took real good care of me at the hospital,” he said. X-rays of his skinned-up arms and a CAT scan revealed no broken bones and no internal injuries, but he had plenty of abrasions, cuts and bruises, including one large bruise covering his entire right side. The bigger cuts and lacerations had to be stitched up and bandaged along with the skinned areas on his arms and legs. By Tuesday, as he sat on his couch, he talked about cows he had penned up the day before and some calves he had taken to the livestock market earlier that morning. Out in the backyard, the tractor was still parked where he had stopped it a few days earlier, with the steering wheel twisted out of shape and the muffler bent over the top. The next day, he said, a man was supposed to come by and start fixing everything. As a former sheriff for 28 years, a trooper in Madison for 16 years before that, and a paratrooper with the army in WWII Germany, he looks around the yard and says there is no way he’d ever go through another tractor incident like that, even knowing that he’d survive. “Not in a million years.” From now on, he avers, he won’t crank up that tractor anymore unless he’s sitting in the seat. He looks around the yard and carport before going back inside. “I am blessed…I really am,” he says again. “The Lord must have something else He wants me to do.”