Tractor crash survivor warns drivers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tractor crash survivor warns drivers

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One year after an Eastern Iowan nearly died after a serious tractor accident, he's using his recovery to send a message to drivers. 

20-year-old Carter Bixby of Dike was riding his tractor last May when an SUV rear-ended his tractor. Carter was thrown out of his tractor on impact, and nearly run over by the tractor when it kept going.

"The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital," said Bixby. "I don't have any recollection of how I was feeling or anything like that."

Doctors say it is remarkable Carter is alive and able to have made so much progress. 

Carter is back doing what he loves at his farm, but just a year ago he was facing a very different reality in a normal day of farm work. Then, 19 years-old, he was on his way to pick up a manure pump from another farmer driving along Highway 57, when his day took a turn.  

"Right as I was coming into Parkersburg, a lady rear-ended me and the tractor went into the ditch and I was thrown from the tractor," said Bixby.

Carter was ejected from the tractor, suffering a number of extensive injuries as a result.

"Laceration on my eye, broke ribs one through nine, I had a lacerated liver, bruised kidney, floating shoulder, broke my collarbone and scapula, brain bleed, and collapsed lung," said Bixby. 

Carter nearly losing his eyesight, he was rushed to Mayo Clinic In Rochester from Allen Hospital. He underwent three different surgeries, making a slow but steady recovery.

The scars are still there, and so is the fear. 

"It's scary still if I go down the road," said Bixby. 

Carter says he will never have a full recovery, the trauma of the accident leaving him with PTSD.  Despite the odds, Carter is using his story, and what doctors call his miraculous recovery to make one clear message to drivers.

"I really truly hope they will slow down and respect the farmers and respect the people that are on the road, and just share the road," said Bixby. 

No matter where, no matter the time, he says be aware. 

"Farmers are working all hours, if it's not dewy and it's dry they'll keep going all night, or as long as the can keep going," said Bixby. 

A reminder after a tragic tractor crash last week, killing a farmer in Buchanan County. 

The dangers for farmers in tractors are very real on the road. According to the Iowa DOT, there have been more than a thousand injuries in tractor related crashes within the last decade. 

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