Sumrall farmer rescued from soybean grain bin
“He told me that if it had been five more minutes, he don’t think he would have made it.”
SUMRALL, Miss. (WDAM) - Soybeans may look tiny, but imagine being buried beneath 10-12 feet of them. A lifelong Sumrall farmer is now recovering at Forrest General Hospital after he was rescued from a grain bin filled with soybeans on Tuesday.
“The quicksand effect just pulled him under,” said Sumrall Volunteer Fire Chief Virginia Hayes.
Debra Thornhill is counting her blessings her brother Wayne Breakfield is still alive.
“You can see the beans pouring out that side of the bin, and I could hear them hitting the side of the bin, and I said, ‘Kathy he is in the bin.,’” said Thornhill. “Well, I begin to run, and I got down here.”
It didn’t take long until the family knew they needed help.
“All I could think of was we’ve got to get him out as quick as possible,” said Chief Hayes. “When I got on the scene, they were saying they could hear him moaning and groaning underneath all of that, so we knew he was still alive.”
The Sumrall Volunteer Fire Department was among the cavalry to answer the call - with dozens of others. Crews had to use a circular saw to cut through the thick metal.
With each passing minute, the family members worried about the oxygen left in the silo as Wayne remained wedged near the augur below the beans.
“It was a whole lot harder to stay calm once I knew he had been quiet for a while,” said Wayne’s daughter Angelene Lowe. “As long as I knew they could hear him I could hold it together.”
After an hour and three cuts, Wayne was finally free.
“A lot of thanksgiving, just thanking the Lord for keeping his hand on him, thankful for the support he received and his watch and protection over not just daddy, but those people as well,” Lowe added.
It’s a rescue Chief Hayes and her volunteers will never forget.
“He told me that if it had been five more minutes, he doesn’t think he would have made it,” said Hayes. “It was a relief to know that my prayers and everybody else’s prayers had been answered. It was a miracle.”
There’s still a long road ahead for Wayne and his family. He’ll likely lose a few toes and is still in the hospital, but loved ones are just thankful he’s still here.
The family is thankful for all of the agencies that responded yesterday from Lamar County dispatchers, deputies, and emergency management. Volunteer crews came from Sumrall, Hickory Grove, and Pine Ridge.
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