By Bill Hudson

FREEPORT, Minn. (WCCO) — A 10-year-old boy is in the hospital with serious injuries after he fell into an auger at a farm in Stearns County.

It was shortly after the start to Monday evening’s milking when the boy, Kurt Herdering, was helping with farm chores. He was walking atop the protective grating covering an 8-inch auger, which was being used to move feed to the livestock.

According to Lt. Jon Lentz of the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, “it (auger) did have shields and guards on it. The speculation is that as he was walking one of the guards moved, he then fell down onto the exposed part of the auger and became trapped in it.”

The auger tripped off and stopped turning. It’s unclear if the boy’s body and clothing caused the auger to jam and trip off line.

First responders from the Freeport Fire and Rescue were quickly on the scene and worked to free the boy. He was treated on the scene, transported to the St. Cloud Hospital and later flown to Hennepin County Medical Center for further treatment.

An HCMC spokesperson says Herdering remains in serious condition with multiple deep lacerations on his extremities, soft tissue damage and contusions on his lungs and heart.

“Very dangerous,” is how area farmer Melvin Goebels responded to news of the accident.

Farmers like Goebels know the perils of working around farm machinery. They say augers and power takeoffs are incredibly important pieces of machinery, but can be terribly disfiguring — even deadly.

“He’s very lucky, very lucky,” said Goebels. “When the arm is gone it’s gone. Bruises can be healed up. ”

Goebels says he feels for the boy and his family, but calls it a sobering reminder of the dangers down on the farm.

Comments (3)
  1. Fizbo says:

    Hope the young man recovers.

  2. Barbara Gamache says:

    Our grandson was hurt at the age of 10 in a grinder auger mixer (2 years ago) he crushed most of his face and lost an eye. So we as a family know exactly what this family is going thru!!
    Thoughts and tons of prayers go to this family! I hope their son has the same positive atttude that Coty has had thru all of his ongoing surgeries and Dr. visits. Is there a caringbridge site yet?

  3. Lisa Rose Wensmann says:

    They do not have a CaringBridge. We appreciate the prayers. As Goebels said he is very lucky. He is still in ICU at HCMC. He has a fungal pneumonia from something he breathed in from the auger. His lung collapsed, but is healing and the ventilator may be removed tomorrow. He has a bruise on his lung. He may not be able to use his right arm because of cut tendons. He has a cut on the back of his leg, across his torso, and on his upper right chest. His pancreas was also knicked. He is sedated with tubes removing fluids from the area near his lung and his pancreas.

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