Elderly man dies in tractor accident

Lawrence Township, IN – An elderly man died in a farm tractor accident Friday afternoon.

Deputies with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office report that Leo Gratzle, 84, died after he was hit in the head by a tree trunk.

The incident happened at 57531 Butcher Road around 5 p.m.

Gratzle was using his tractor to push fallen tree limbs into a pile on the back portion of his property. At some point, a tree trunk about 3 feet in diameter fell on Gratzle hitting him in the head.

The tractor tipped backwards on the front end loader bucket with the tractor coming to rest in a vertical position.

When Gratzle’s family discovered him they immediately contacted Van Buren Central Dispatch.

Gratzle was taken to Leonard Funeral home in Lawrence.  

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