Mike and 10 year old Andy were cutting pasture grass in the back field, ¾ mile from the house. They went back and forth cutting the grass sideways on a steep hill. When the swather became clogged, Mike shut it off, and they both climbed into the space between the header and the main body to remove the hay. All of a sudden the counter weight caused the swather to slowly swing around and start rolling down the hill, heavy end first. Mike quickly realized what was happening, and the two of them started walking to keep up. Andy was too big to lift over the side, and there was no time to climb out. As the swather picked up speed, it became apparent that they wouldn’t be able to keep up, so Mike threw Andy to the ground, and covered his son with his own body. The header rolled over them, and Mike heard his ribs cracking. The swather continued rolling down the hill, going faster and faster, but now Mike and Andy were clear of it. Andy’s first words were, “Dad, we’re alive, it didn't kill us!” Andy must have raised up while the header rolled over him, because he now had a deep crease across his right temple. Mike tried to pick him up and carry him, but his ribs were just too painful. “Stay right there,” Mike warned. “I’ll go get the truck”. The truck was about ½ mile away, and Mike’s ribs were hurting, but he made good time. When he got to the shop where the truck was parked, he noticed he had a flat tire! Never mind. He drove on it flat, picked up Andy, and drove to the house. Next on the agenda was a trip to town to the ER. Mike didn’t have any breaks, but he had separated the cartilage between several of his ribs, every bit as painful as broken ribs. Andy had a minor concussion, and his face swelled up so big you could hardly see his right eye.
This picture of a swather isn't the actual one. It weighed more and the sides were taller. But this one gives you an idea of what it was like.