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Elderly man killed in Plumcreek tractor accident

Mitch Fryer | Leader Times
State police investigate a fatal farm tractor accident at the McKissick farm in Plumcreek on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012.

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By Mitch Fryer
Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, 2:26 p.m.

An 82-year-old man was killed on Friday morning when the farm tractor he was doing repair work on, rolled down a slope while it was in gear dragging him underneath for more than 200 feet.

State police said Alfred John Adams, 82, of 2128 Copper Valley Road in Plumcreek died at the scene. Adams is formerly from Erie County and was residing with his daughter in Plumcreek.

The accident happened shortly before 11 a.m. at the McKissick Farm at the end of Gastown Road near Rt. 210 in Plumcreek.

Working on tractor

Police said Adams was apparently alone outside a barn sharpening the blades of his old, antique, 1947 or 1948 farm tractor preparing to cut grass on the farm.

Adams had the deck of the mower propped up on a bucket while he worked on the tractor, according to police.

The tractor was running, police said.

“It fell off the bucket — it engaged in gear,” said state police Cpl. Chris Robbins.

“And dragged him beneath it.”

Adams was dragged from the area of the barn, down a gravel driveway, through an electric fence and down a pasture field with the tractor coming to rest in a ditch.

Ray McKissick, the owner of the farm, found Adams in the wreckage. McKissick said he pays Adams to cut grass on the farm.

McKissick turned the tractor off and called Armstrong 911.

“I saw the tractor and wondered why it got down there,” said McKissick.

“Then I saw the fence was broke through. It was a shock.”

McKissick said the trouble with old tractors like that is that nothing works unless the clutch is out.

“He loved that old tractor,” McKissick said. “He told me that if he was on his tractor, that's how he wanted to go.”

Armstrong County deputy Coroner Bob Bellas pronounced Adams dead at the scene of blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen.

Elderton Fire Department responded to the accident.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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