ELKIN — An Elkin man died while operating his tractor on Saturday.
Surry County EMS Director John Shelton said Jerry Dale Parks, 75, of Parks Drive in Elkin, was pushing a large tree limb with his tractor on Saturday. The limb came up over the hay spike on the tractor before striking and killing Parks.
Shelton said the incident occurred at about 2:20 p.m. at the victim’s residence. It has been ruled an accidental death.
The EMS director said Parks was the only fatality in what was a very busy holiday season for local emergency officials.
“I ended up working every day,” said Shelton. “It was pretty much the norm for the holidays.”
Shelton said the area saw a normal uptick in traffic accidents throughout the holiday season. However, there was “nothing too serious.”
Shelton said this holiday season played out similar to past years that his crews have worked. There were a few drug overdoses from recreational drug use, and a higher frequency of heart attacks.
Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson said when he was on patrol for the department decades ago he came on to his shift on Christmas Eve knowing what to expect — domestic disturbances. The incidents usually result from family members who don’t necessarily get along spending the holidays together and oftentimes drinking alcohol while enjoying — or not enjoying — each other’s company.
Atkinson said the 2016 holiday season offered no surprises for his department. His deputies responded to a number of domestic disputes and altercations between family members.
“We stayed busy running the normal calls,” remarked Atkinson.
The sheriff said most holiday seasons also result in higher levels of larcenies and break-ins. There was an uptick of such theft in the county, though it wasn’t quite as usual.
“They weren’t your normal ‘break in and steal all the Christmas presents’ crimes,” stated Atkinson. “We had some stolen trailers and things like that.”
“There were no more crimes related to the holidays than usual,” explained Atkinson. “There was just nothing unusual about this holiday season.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.