Farmer fought for his life in horrific accident

Picture shows farmer Darren Taylor and his wife Nicky
Picture shows farmer Darren Taylor and his wife Nicky

A farmer has told of his miraculous escape after he was dragged into a potato harvester.

Dad-of-three Darren Taylor lost his left leg, part of his right leg and the elbow in his left arm after slipping between the machine’s rollers as he checked it while working near Tadcaster last October.

He fought for his life for 30 minutes as the heavy duty machine threatened to drag his entire body inside it.

Darren, 44, described how he was “literally doing the splits”, as his arm and leg were swallowed by the machine with his other limbs still on the outside.

As he tried to move his right leg to relieve some of the pressure it also dropped in, this time up to the ankle.

Darren, said: “It had just got my ankle and by now my left leg was up to my thigh.

“At this point I was waiting for it to chew my foot off and I could have just have got the right leg out.

“I thought there was a chance it could take me right through but I just tried to hang on as best as I could.

“I looked down through the harvester and I thought an oil pipe had burst but when I got my bearings I could see it was my blood.”

He added: “I was just determined it wasn’t going to get me.

“I knew I was badly injured but I was fighting to struggle my way out of it.

“I had to stay awake to keep out of the machine.

“I was shouting ‘you’re not going to pull me through’.”

After the alarm was raised it took two hours to free Darren, who has an arable and grass farm outside Tadcaster.

Specialist engineers had to be called in to dismantle the machine in the horrific accident.

He was then flown to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance where he spent eight days in an induced coma and a further three months being treated.

Darren has finally returned home to his farm to recover before further operations and fitting for his prosthetics on both legs.

He is due to have a further operation in February to restore the use of his left hand and hopes to learn to walk again with the aid of prostheses as soon as April.

Despite his injuries he hopes to be able to do some limited work on his farm soon after that and to drive a tractor again.

He said: “Now I have no left leg, a right leg with no foot or ankle and a left arm that doesn’t work.

“I wish it hadn’t happened but the people around me and the people in Leeds General Infirmary have been that good the least thing I can do is be strong and appreciate what they have done for me.

“I’m still alive and there were moments when the situation might have been different.”

Darren has been supported through is ordeal by his wife 47-year-old wife Nicky, who helps out on the farm, and his children Olly, nine, Tia, 21 and Danielle, 27.