Oliverea resident severely hurt after being trapped under lawn tractor

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By Jay Braman Jr.
Shandaken Police report that a lifelong Oliverea resident was trapped under a lawn tractor for 13 hours from Wednesday evening into Thursday morning last week.

Richard Bennett was taken by helicopter to Albany Medical Center Thursday morning after two Ulster County highway workers heard Bennett calling for help, police said. The county workers, Robert Mooers and Robert Walker, pulled Bennett out from under the mower at about 8 a.m., according to Shandaken’s Officer in Charge James McGrath.

Bennett was cutting grass Wednesday evening along Oliverea Road when his tractor hit a stonewall. The crash caused the tractor to tip over and it ended up on top of Bennett trapping him. McGrath said Bennett was screaming at cars going by but people couldn’t hear him.

Workers assist
The accident happened on Bennett’s property near a bridge that Mooers and Walker have been working on in the wake of last year’s storm damage. They knew Bennett, who had become friendly with the work crew.

When the two men arrived at the work site they heard cries for help, then ran to Bennett and lifted the tractor off of him and called for an ambulance.

McGrath said that Bennett suffered a severe injury to his right arm. His current condition was not available at press time.