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

Thursday, March 26, 2015
The President of Devon Petanque Region, John Thatcher, and Honiton mayor, Peter Halse, cut the ribbon to Honiton's new Petanque Club and court. Ref mhh 1161-12-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The petanque terrain at the Mountbatten Sports and Social Club was opened on Thursday, March 19.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
rugby generic picture

As the Lacemen’s Colts licked their wounds from their recent defeat by a strong Barum outfit, they travelled to Okehampton for a must-win game and produced the goods in a 25-15 result, writes Paz Parratt

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Rugby

Honiton second XV were confident and commanding across the pitch as they won a derby meeting with Sidmouth 41-10, writes Tom Churchward.

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Britain's 10 Most Wanted.

National Crime Agency and Crimestoppers launch appeal to capture 10 wanted men believed to be hiding in Spain.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Convivium

For many music lovers, a performance of Handel’s Messiah is as much a part of Easter as chocolate eggs, fluffy chicks and nodding daffodils.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Sidford Badminton Club

Sidford Social Hall plays host to a badminton club that is seeing numbers drop and is now in need of some fresh new faces.

Read more
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Exmouth tennis starlet Josie Culliford

Exmouth tennis starlet Josie Culliford enjoyed success at a recent competition in Cheddar, writes Stephen Birley.

Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Football generic picture

With both Millwey Rise teams struggling to fulfil their numbers through injury and late withdrawals the ensuing results were better than what perhaps was expected, writes Dick Sturch.

Read more
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Super-fit Charlotte Venn - fundraising skydiver and marathon runner

Charlotte, who ran the Barcelona marathon in 2004, is hoping to raise £1,000 in sponsorship by taking part.

Read more
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Jack Britten, Devon Roe-Lavery, coach Helen Reddy, Catie Lee and Valentine Tutcher.

The acrobatic gymnastics season is well and truly under way for Honiton Gymnastics Club men’s pair Devon Roe-Lavery and Jack Britten.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

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