Man Rescued from Grain Bin


A Darlington man was airlifted Wednesday to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after a grain bin accident on a farm near C.R. 400N and 100W.

Ron Zell, 59, sustained fractures to both his legs, when an auger caught his clothing. One of the fractures was a compound break.

“He was talking to us and was in high spirits,” said Lieutenant Nate Patton of the Crawfordsville Fire Department. “He has severe lower leg injuries, which will require surgery and a long recovery. Out of all the possibilities, this is one of the better outcomes.”

The fire department responded to the call reporting the injury at 4:45 p.m. Firefighters and farm employees extricated Zell from the grain bin by cutting his clothing. The machine was not damaged during the process. Oxygen was not a concern since the bin contained about an inch of grain along the bottom.

“Our guys did an excellent job of quickly extricating him and taking care of the injury,” Patton said. “It couldn’t have gone any smoother.”

A helicopter from IU Health landed on the farm property. Assistant Fire Chief Jim Fulwider and sheriff deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office coordinated the landing.

“We had some windy conditions and were not sure whether they would fly,” Fulwider said. “Fortunately there is a lot of flat ground out here and many places to land a helicopter. Everything was in place, which made everything quicker.”

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