Heartbroken Uncle Issues Desperate Warning After Nephew Dies Under His Tractor
A heartbroken uncle has issued a desperate warning after his four-year-old nephew died when he fell under the wheels of his tractor.
Harry Lee grew up at Sabden Old Hall Farm, near Burnley, and loved helping his uncle Brian Nutter.
He treated the farm “like his playground” but in July 2019 after a tragic accident he was run over by his uncle’s tractor and despite desperate efforts from medics to save him, he was pronounced dead.
Harry had grown up wanting to take over his own dad’s farm. Now, Brian has begged the British public to not make the same mistakes he did and never take children on farm vehicles.
He said: “Please don’t do it. I hope if people know what happened they’ll be a bit more aware of what they’re doing, and they won’t have to go through what I’m going through.
“We were cleaning a shed out in the farmyard, using a telescopic handler and we had to get something out of the field.
“Harry was with me, and I put him on the machine, as I’d done in the past, and we drove out the yard, on to the lane and into the field. I turned around and he’d gone, and he was under the wheel. It was so, so quick.”
When Harry rode on the footplate of Brian’s JCB Loader it hit a bump in the field and the child was knocked off the vehicle to the ground where he was tragically run over.
The four-year-old suffered a catastrophic brain injury and he was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital where he tragically died.
Brian would later be charged with Health and Safety Act offences and given a 26-week suspended sentence.
He added: “The safest place for the children is in the house. Always take a step back and think. I want people to look and think what you’re doing, there’s always another way. I know I’m not the first, I hope I’m the last but I know I won’t be.
“I want to get the message across. I am one of the people it’s happened to, and I don’t want it to happen again. People need to be aware of what can happen. Everyone needs to think. If the children aren’t there, it can’t happen. If Harry had stopped in the house, he’d be here now.
“It’s had a massive impact on all the family. Life has changed forever. It’ll never be the same again. I wish I’d done something different. It’ll never leave me. I wish I’d not had him on the vehicle with me. Please don’t do it.”
His comments came in the same week that HSE’s annual Fatal injuries in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing in Great Britain report.
It revealed that over the past year 25 people have been killed in agriculture-related activities.
Mr Nutter previously spoke about the boy’s death at his inquest in July 2021 when he said: “In the blink of an eye he weren’t there. It all happened so fast. I had to drive forward to get off him. I picked him up and ran down to the farm, into the house, he was in my arms.
“We rang an ambulance and I put him on the floor, I was trying to resuscitate him.”
Mr Nutter admitted that it had been dangerous to allow Harry to ride on the footplate and the inquest heard that it is illegal to allow children under 13 to travel on or in agricultural vehicles.
“Obviously I didn’t think that [it was dangerous] at the time but I do now and it is still going on at other farms. There are risks on farms.
“We all do these things and I was the unlucky one; I have learned a big lesson from it. It has changed my life dramatically and all I can do is make sure that I never put myself or anyone else in that position again.
“He spent a lot of time with me because that’s what he wanted to do, and I loved him being with me because I didn’t think that we were doing anything wrong. I wish that Harry had stopped in the house that day, but he didn’t.
“I miss him loads, every day I miss him. I wish he were here. I’d do anything to bring him back, but I can’t and that’s the hardest bit. I always think about him, I do a job now and he’s always there with me.”
Mum Sarah Nutter said: “Losing a child at any age is a traumatic experience, but losing a child in such deeply tragic circumstances is completely life changing. The event of Harry’s death has and will have a lasting effect that I, and my family will never get over.
“Farming is a lifestyle and a way of life. If we could go back and make different decisions and do things differently, we would certainly do so. We have had to learn the hard way.
“The dangers to children on farms are often not appreciated when you live with them, but they should be at the forefront of all our minds every single day. I hope the effects of Harry’s accident will change the attitude of people living on farms and make them think twice about the dangers their children are exposed to and how easily accidents can be avoided.”
Dad Martin Lee added: “Harry, so passionate about farming even at four-years-old, was very much my legacy, the person who would take on the farm. Always smiling, Harry had a love for life that brought joy to all those around him and certainly lived his life to the full.
“He was a loving, caring, kind and bright child, full of affection for his family. It is a tragedy that he was needlessly taken from us too soon. His death has traumatised and deeply impacted the whole family.”