A MAN in his 50s is in a stable condition after a severe tractor accident on Saturday afternoon.
It is understood 59-year-old business owner Steve Wood was working on his property at Congarinni when the tractor he was driving overturned and rolled down an embankment.
He was driving the tractor and attempting to negotiate a steep hill when the accident occurred.
NSW Ambulance received the call just before 4pm on Saturday, and attended the property with local police, locating Steve in a paddock.
“He did have quite serious spinal injuries,” NSW Ambulance Duty operations manager Mick Mair told the Guardian.
“He was located at the bottom of a 45-degree embankment, so to put him in a 4WD and maneuver him up the hill with spinal injuries was too risky.
“We chose to move him by utilising the Westpac helicopter as it was much more stable and a lot safer.
“He was stabilised at the scene by paramedics and airlifted to John Hunter Hospital.”
Steve has since been transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.
Well wishes and messages of support have been pouring in and Steve’s family has travelled to his bedside.
“Steve’s wife Robyn and his daughters congregated in Sydney yesterday,” a family friend told the Guardian.
“The support of the local community and all the well wishes has been overwhelming.
“We're all amazed, it's unbelievable – and they keep coming.”
At this early stage, the extent of Steve’s injuries are unclear, however it will, understandably, be a long recovery process.
“He was operated on and is now in recovery,” he said.
“It takes time to know the full extent of his injuries … there's no clarification to the degree at this stage.
“The bruising and swelling has to go before assessments can be made at this point, but there are a couple of fractures in his spine.
“It's just about getting through this trauma part and taking it one day at a time until there's a full picture painted.
“He will be in Royal North Shore for quite a while … but he's in as good a frame of mind as anyone in that position.”
During Steve’s recovery, business will run as usual at the Macksville workshop with employees continuing to serve the community.