Teenager recovering after tractor accident

Karla J. Flak
for Black Hills Pioneer

A Newell teen is at home recovering from a tractor accident nearly claimed his life.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on July 13, Dylan Wilbur, 15, was run over by the tractor he was using to bale hay. Wilbur had parked the tractor and applied the brake to remove a clog in the hay baler, but the tractor started to roll while Wilbur was tending to the equipment just outside of Belle Fourche. When the tractor started rolling back towards him, Wilbur attempted to get back on the tractor to stop it, but he missed the step and fell to the ground. The front tire of the tractor rolled over Wilbur’s chest causing extensive trauma including a collapsed lung, broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and a broken shoulder and jaw, as well as both of his ears being partially detached.

“The owner of the property was raking hay in front of Dylan,” said Robert Wilbur, Dylan’s dad, so a 911 call was immediate. Robert was also on the scene within moments to tend to his son. Dylan was still conscience and able to tell his dad the chain of events. The Belle Fourche Ambulance minutes later.

Dylan was transported by ambulance to Spearfish Regional Hospital where a breathing tube was inserted because of a collapsed lung. After he was stabilized, Life Flight transported him to Rapid City Regional Hospital. He was admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) with forecasts of being at that level of care for an extended amount of time.

Misty Wilbur, Dylan’s mother is a nurse, and met up with her son at Rapid City Regional.

“The community has been incredible. We had him on prayer chains everywhere as far away as China,” Misty said. She added that the outpouring of support and the number of people showing up at the hospital and those sending cards, thoughts and prayers has been sincerely appreciated.

“We are so blessed to still have him,” she said.

Both said Dylan “is a very tough kid,” and that was proven again as he was released from the hospital on Saturday.

“Next time let it roll,” Robert said and he added, that is what one of Dylan’s friends wrote in a card to him as well. His message to his son was that equipment can be replaced but the driver is irreplaceable.

Misty said Dylan will likely need additional surgeries, but believes the doctors want his lungs to heal before undergoing operations. His ears were already sutured back in place.

“Everything happens for a reason. You either sit in the corner and cry about it, or you take it as a lesson and go again,” Dylan wrote in a text while recovering in the hospital.

–Reprinted with permission from Black Hills Pioneer