Tractor runs away with dog at the wheel

10:52 17 January 2014

Henry Selway

Henry Selway's tractor ended up on its side after running away down a steep hill at Colyton

Archant

Vehicle narrowly misses Colyton house as it careers down a steep hill with only Molly the Collie in the driving seat

A runaway tractor narrowly missed smashing into a house after the brakes failed and it careered down a steep hill – with only the farmer’s Collie dog in the driving seat.

Henry Selway had parked at the top of a slope in a residential area of Colyton, while he joined his daughter for lunch, leaving his faithful hound waiting in the cab.

But while the 77-year-old was eating his meal, the handbrake on his Ford 7840 tractor failed and the vehicle hurtled down the road – with Molly the dog helpless in the front seat.

The tractor sped across the road, broke through a garden fence, and came to rest just feet from a neighbouring property.

Thankfully the homeowners were away on holiday at the time, but were relieved when they returned to learn their home had escaped unscathed.

He said: “I’ve been driving tractors since I was 14, and that day I parked my tractor as I always do – with the handbrake on and the wheels turned inwards.

“I only became aware of the incident when a scaffolder shouted over to me that the tractor was rolling off with my dog inside. I couldn’t believe it.”

The tractor was found on its side in the garden with Molly unhurt and the handbrake still on.

Now the case is being highlighted by Henry’s insurance company, Cornish Mutual, to help raise awareness of the need for farmers to ensure their vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained.

Although tractors do not require an MOT by law, the majority of motor insurance policies state that all reasonable precautions must be taken to keep the insured vehicle in a proper state of repair. Vehicles should be well maintained so that their insurance cover remains valid.

A spokesman said: “In this case, Henry did put the handbrake on and leave his vehicle in a safe position, but accident investigators highlighted that the age of the vehicle, and the cold weather conditions that day, might have resulted in the handbrake failing.”

Henry said: “The tractor caused quite a bit of damage, but thankfully no one was injured and the damage to the property was limited to the owner’s fence and a number of trees, which were replaced. I grew up leaving my tractor in gear as the ultimate failsafe, but with these new tractors you can’t do that.”

Alan Goddard, managing director for Cornish Mutual, said: “There is no suggestion that Henry was at fault here, but it is a timely reminder that these things can happen. By making people aware of this incident we can highlight the need for farmers to make sure their vehicles are in the best condition they can be.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

12:55
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery

Honiton’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) has been announced as the winner in a competition to bring a top contemporary artist to town.

Read more
09:02
Resplendent in his robes, Town Crier Derek Wenn ensured the Colyton Tractor run had a fitting send off. Ref mha 7902-22-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

More than 120 agricultural vehicles take part in this year’s charity fundraiser

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
Computer

Anyone who can help should get in touch with steering group vice-chairman Jackie Wadsworth.

Read more
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1231-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Dan Lavery is determined Devon Freewheelers will help save lives – as a Belfast ‘hidden hero’ undoubtedly helped saved wife Shelley’s life in 2005.

Read more
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Sam Bader

Dad-of-one Sam Bader, 28, who grew up in Ottery St Mary, supports Devon Freewheelers by sponsoring one of the motorbikes, Bravo One.

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

Independent councillors call for extraordinary meeting to debate the office relocation

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
Checks were carried out by police at Honiton Tesco as part of a drive to cut down on defective vehicles. PC Steve Lee with Tesco staff Michael Williams, Mark Dowell, Angela Lockyer and Naomi Curtis. Ref mhh 6528-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The activity was part of Operation Mascot, the rural East Devon policing sector’s initiative to tackle travelling criminals, address driving offences and improve road safety.

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
First year Sixth Form students Mikey Rose, Brad Burraston and Tom Broderick

Axe Valley Community College sixth formers selected to take part in for philosophy, politics and economics programme

Read more
Friday, May 22, 2015
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Devon Freewheelers founder Daniel Lavery will do whatever it takes to keep his lifeline service on the road so other families can receive the same help and care that saved his wife’s life.

Read more
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Seaton Wetlands

Money raised will to towards the management of the nature reserve

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder