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.