Rangely man dies in tractor accident while plowing drive

RANGELY I A 60-year-old Rangely man was killed in a single vehicle accident on Dec. 4, when the farm tractor he was using to plow his neighbor’s driveway slid, rolled over and pinned the man underneath.
Tractor owner Vernon “Dale” Lane was pronounced dead at the scene, located about 40 feet from County Road 2.
On Dec. 4 at 3:45 p.m., the Rangely Police Department dispatch center received a 911 call advising of a rolled over farm tractor off County Road 2, but the caller said there was no person visible at the location. Three minutes later, a second 911 call was received and the caller stated that the rollover was at 6300 County Road 2 and that the operator was pinned underneath.
According to Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Michael Joos, units from the sheriff’s office, the Rangely Police Department, the Rangely Fire Department and the Rangely Ambulance Service responded.
Upon arrival, he said, responders found the tractor about 40 feet off County Road 2, upside down in the bottom of a ravine with Lane pinned underneath the tractor.
Joos said Lane showed no signs of life and was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was later learned that the victim had been pinned under the tractor for at least 90 minutes before the first 911 call.
Winch, boom and crane trucks were requested from businesses in Rangley — Striegel’s, Ace West and Urie Trucking — to lift the tractor off the victim.
The subsequent investigation determined that Lane was plowing his neighbor’s driveway and was backing down a long steep grade when the left rear tire dropped off the driveway. That reportedly caused the tractor to slide off the driveway and down a slope into the ravine.
The tractor rolled over, Joos said, coming to a rest on its top in the bottom of the ravine.
He said it was not determined whether Lane was thrown from or jumped from the tractor as it began to roll.
Lane’s body was transported to Grand Junction by Rio Blanco County Coroner Dr. Albert Kreuger for an autopsy.