Devon

Devon runaway tractor ends up in garden

Tractor overturned
Image caption The tractor ended upside down in the garden of a house at Colyton

A runaway tractor narrowly missed a Devon house when the brakes failed with only the farmer's collie dog in the cab.

Henry Selway, 77, had parked his tractor at the top of a hill in Colyton, east Devon, while he joined his daughter for lunch in the town.

But the tractor's handbrake failed and the vehicle hurtled down a steep road.

Molly the collie was uninjured when the tractor crashed through a garden fence, and came to rest in a garden.

Image copyright Theo Moye
Image caption Henry Selway said leaving a parked tractor in gear was no longer the "ultimate failsafe"

Mr Selway said: "I've been driving tractors since I was 14, and that day I parked my tractor as I always do - with the handbrake on and the wheels turned inwards.

"I only became aware of the incident when a scaffolder shouted over to me that the tractor was rolling off with my dog inside. I couldn't believe it."

The tractor was found with its handbrake still on and Molly still inside.

Insurers Cornish Mutual said cold weather could have been partly to blame for the brakes failing.

Mr Selway added: "The tractor caused quite a bit of damage, but thankfully no-one was injured and the damage to the property was limited to the owner's fence and a number of trees, which were replaced.

"I grew up leaving my tractor in gear as the ultimate failsafe, but with these new tractors you can't do that."

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