Lafayette County boy killed after farming accident
DNR investigating incident
A Lafayette County community is mourning the loss of a boy who was killed in a farming accident this week.
The incident happened on Monday at his family’s farm on County Highway D in Lamon Township, northeast of Darlington.
The boy, Colin Barnes, is being remembers as a well-mannered, proud son of a farmer.
His grandfather said the 9-year-old was working on his family farm, doing his chores as usual on Monday evening when he drove up a hillside on his small, full-sized four-wheeler, it rolled on top of him, pinning him to the ground.
The Darlington Elementary School student was later taken by Med Flight helicopter to Madison, where he died on Tuesday.
Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources are wrapping up an investigation into the incident. The department conducts inquiries of all ATV, boating and snowmobile accidents causing injury. Officials said that this case looks to be a tragic, freak accident.
"What the youngster was doing was totally normal and for the most part is expected, and it's just a traumatic situation and it's nothing that's out of the ordinary," said DNR warden Nick Webster.
Webster said that while children are known to use ATVs to do farm work, officials' concern typically lies with people who drive them drunk.
"Alcohol and speed has traditionally been an issue with injury accidents or fatality accidents for snowmobile, boating or ATV in the past. We've put a lot of pressure, I'd say in the last five years, trying to really kind of reduce the amount of accidents we have," he said.
In this case, the DNR investigation found no violations and speed and alcohol aren't involved in this case.
The boy wasn't wearing a helmet, but the DNR officials said this isn't a violation of law since he was helping on his family's farm and not driving recreationally. If a person who is 18 years old or younger is riding an ATV recreationally, he or she must wear a helmet, said Webster.
Donations are being accepted at the Steil Comacho Funeral Home in Darlington. The boy's parents said that those donations will go to things their son loved: His basketball team and cattle showing.
The boy might also have saved at least one life as he was an organ donor, WISC-TV reported.
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