The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Farm Accident Leaves Father In Peoria Hospital

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

A tragic accident involving a father and son, occurred Tuesday morning at the Berlett farm resulting in injury to John Berlett after a Skid Steer backed over him.

Around 10:00 a.m. John's son, Duane, was operating a Skid Steer, 4-wheel drive loader, cleaning a feeding floor off to put a new hay bale in. He had just talked to his dad, and he was standing by the shed.

"I didn't see that within the 5 or 6 seconds it took to make a path, he had moved over behind me. As soon as I made the second path I turned to see where he was and saw he was on the ground screaming and in a lot of pain. He had a cut on his nose that was bleeding and it was pretty cold, but he was breathing and could talk."

"I called 911 and they responded with the La Harpe ambulance first and 20 minutes later, Carthage was there.

Carthage transported him to McDonough District Hospital in Macomb after John refused to let them Life-flight him to Peoria. After seeing cracked ribs on both sides, injured scapula and worries about damage to his vertebrae, doctors determined he needed to be in St. Francis Hospital in Peoria. So, McDonough Hospital had John airlifted after he was sedated and he arrived around 4:30 p.m.

Duane said he and his sister Debbie Rupert from Galesburg were at the hospital and hadn't actually seen a doctor in St. Francis as yet in the early evening hours, but their dad could move everything.

"We are gathering information from two different medical places and we are not for sure about anything yet," Duane said.

Duane farms daily for his father on his dad's farm 3 miles east of La Harpe.

As far as farm work, Duane has lime to put on the fields, but nothing pressing. And he has chores for the cattle, and work on machinery and then he will be hauling grain in January.

"There's no pushing matters at present," Duane assured.

Those wishing to send a card to John Berlett may do so at :

Room 4345 Bed 1
530 N.E. Glen Oak Ave.
Peoria, IL 61637

The hospital suggests to use the patient's home address in the return mail location and that way the letter will get returned to them at home if they have already left the hospital.