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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 19, 2006

Kualoa Ranch worker's foot severed in backhoe accident

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward O'ahu Writer

KUALOA An unmanned backhoe ran over a 36-year-old Kualoa Ranch employee who was fixing a cattle gate, cutting off his foot and severely crushing his right hand yesterday morning.

According to David Morgan, operations manager at the ranch, the injured man, Aaron Farley, and another man were fixing the gate when the backhoe began to move on its own and ran over Farley.

A cattle gate, or cattle guard, is a trench in the ground with rails over it and is meant to stop cattle from leaving an area.

Farley, an experienced backhoe operator, had been operating the backhoe but had stepped off the equipment before the accident occurred, Morgan said.

"The person that was working with him said they were both on the ground and the backhoe started to roll and he was standing right in front of it," he said.

The backhoe, with rubber tires, also had a front-end loader attached to it.

Farley was taken to Kualoa Beach Park in critical condition and airlifted to The Queen's Medical Center.

Morgan said the ranch has never had an accident like it before.

Bryan Cheplic, city Emergency Medical Services spokesman, said the severed foot was retrieved, placed on ice and taken to the hospital along with the patient.

Cheplic said doctors would probably attempt to reattach the foot. "But I don't know if they'll be able to or not," he said.

Reach Eloise Aguiar at eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser.com.