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A LaRue County dairy farmer whose farm was hit by a tornado in June lost his legs Thursday in a self-propelled silage chopper.
Gary Rock, who owns Rock Brothers Dairy Farm on Slack Road in Roanoke, was in a field cutting corn stocks when the self-propelled chopper apparently clogged, said Chris Loyall, Rock’s son-in-law and a firefighter at Radcliff Fire Department.
When Rock attempted to clear the jam, he was pulled into the chopper, which amputated one leg and “mangled” the other, Loyall said.
“It got one and pulled the other in there,” he said.
According to Loyall, he was on duty Thursday at RFD when he received a phone call from his father-in-law.
“He said, ‘I’ve cut my legs off. I think I’m going to die.’ Then the line went dead,” Loyall recalled. “That’s a phone call nobody wants to receive.”
Loyall called 911 and LaRue County EMS responded and pulled Rock from the field around 7 p.m., he said.
Rock later was airlifted to University Hospital in Louisville where the second leg was amputated, Loyall said.
“He’s up talking,” Loyall said Friday. “He’s doing good, but he’s got a long road ahead of him.”
Both legs ultimately were amputated at the knee, he said, and Rock was expected to undergo a second surgery Saturday to ensure the damaged flesh was removed.
Family members and employees are continuing to operate the dairy farm, Loyall said, and several community members have called to offer assistance.
“We’ve got life support from the community,” he said.
In June, the dairy farm lost five buildings and several cows when an EF2 tornado struck northern LaRue County. The cows were moved to a farm in Russell Springs to be cared for while the farm recovered.
The cows were returned to the farm about a week ago, Loyall said.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at 270-505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.