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Area man injured after falling off a grain bin

RURAL BALATON — A man in his 70s fell off a grain bin late Monday evening, marking the second farm accident in the rural Balaton and Garvin area in the past two days.

A family member confirmed that the individual was 71-year-old Charlie Timmerman.

Balaton Fire Department and Balaton Ambulance responded to the call just after 10 p.m. Monday, according to Fire Chief Troy Wendland.

“He fell off a grain bin approximately 14-15 feet to the ground,” Wendland said. “I think his wife (Gloria) found him on the ground outside and called us.”

Wendland said a call was made for a helicopter, but due to the unusually long response time anticipated, the decision ended up being made to transport Timmerman to Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.

“We started the chopper call and were going to assist with setting up a landing zone again, but the helicopter was 45 minutes out,” Wendland said. “Normally, they’re closer, so the chopper was probably busy. We’d have had to get another one, so we took him to Marshall instead. I’m not sure if he was ever airlifted after that or not.”

Wendland said a couple of Lyon County Sheriff deputies also responded to the emergency call.

“(Timmerman) was complaining of severe pain across his waist area,” Wendland said. “He was in a lot of pain, but he was alert and coherent.”

On Sunday, 49-year-old Slayton resident Brad Pagel was pinned to the ground in a tractor rollover reported at 3 p.m. in the rural Garvin area. Several area emergency response crews rushed to the scene and were able to extract Pagel, who was then airlifted to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he is currently recovering.

“It’s another unfortunate incident we’ve had in our area,” Wendland said. “That’s farming. Fall is usually a busy time for a lot of us (due to farming accidents and fire calls).”

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