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Alberta farmer rear-ended in tractor urges caution in harvest season

After escaping a collision without serious injury, Alberta farmer Jeff Kromm is urging drivers to be diligent during haying and harvest.

Jeff Kromm says he's lucky to be alive

Farmer Jeff Kromm's tractor was hit from behind last week. (Jeff Kromm)

Jeff Kromm says he's lucky to be alive.

The Alberta farmer was driving his tractor down Highway 22X late last week, wrapping up a day of working on his hayfield, when he was rear-ended by an SUV.

"It was all slow motion," Kromm told CBC News Monday. "I didn't even see it coming."

The driver of an SUV was not seriously injured, police say. (Jeff Kromm)

Kromm was bringing his tractor to rotary rake some feed in his field, around 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 29, a Thursday. He headed down Highway 22X west to Priddis, Alta., staying on the road's shoulder and going 20 km/h.

The driver of the SUV told him she didn't see him, he said. The speed limit in that area is 100 km/h.

"I'm just looking forward. And then all of a sudden bang," Kromm said.

A passerby called police after a SUV crashed into a tractor. (Jeff Kromm)

He posted his experience on Facebook, calling on people to slow down during haying and ahead of harvesting season.

The shocking photos — the front of the SUV and back of the tractor entirely crushed — resonated with people. More than 6,000 people commented on the post, and more than 12,000 had shared it by Monday.

"It was such a wreck that I think it opened a lot of people's eyes," Kromm said.

Farmer Jeff Kromm says he suggests farmers try not to drive on the highway in rush hour. He also asks drivers to keep an eye out for slow-moving traffic during harvest. (Jeff Kromm)

With harvest coming up, more farm equipment will be moved along public highways. He urges drivers to watch out for slow-moving tractors, and for farmers to consider moving equipment outside of rush-hour, when possible.

"We all, including myself, need to pay attention more to the road, and, you know, be safe out there," he said.

Luckily, both he and the driver of the SUV weren't seriously injured. Kromm says his back and neck hurts, and he suspects they both have whiplash.

He said he was a bit stunned after the crash but managed to turn his tractor off quickly.

"I just ran over to her to see if she was OK, and she was OK," Kromm said. "She was just sitting there, and we gave each other a hug."

A passerby called RCMP, who confirmed to CBC News officers attended the scene. No charges have been laid.

Insurance hasn't completed an estimate for the damage yet, Kromm said, but he expects both vehicles will be written off.

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