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Former Sunnyside fire chief injured in tractor mishap

James "Jim" Stanton, former Sunnyside Fire Chief, was last Friday injured after having been run over by a tractor.

According to Stanton's wife, Lana, he was working on a tractor when the operator accidentally placed the equipment in the wrong gear, subsequently running the former fire chief over.

"Jim called the ambulance and then he called his brother," said Mrs. Stanton.

Grant County Fire District #8 received the call just before noon, according to Chief Dave Hargroves. He said firefighters and the fire district's ambulance arrived on scene approximately 21 minutes later.

After securing Stanton, the ambulance rendezvoused with an Advanced Life Support unit from the Hanford Fire Department and the former Sunnyside fire chief was transported to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland.

"His sister went with him," shared Mrs. Stanton, who said Stanton was stabilized and airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Speaking from Harborview this morning (Monday), she shared Stanton's injuries. She said he sustained a crushed pelvis and a broken right wrist, as well as injuries to his liver, spleen and kidneys. He also has a few broken ribs.

"The bleeding was stopped," Mrs. Stanton said, stating her husband's organs are expected to remain intact and doctors told her they will heal.

As for the pelvic and wrist injuries, she said Stanton will today undergo surgery and will have to undergo several weeks of rehabilitation.

"He is stable and the family is holding up well...the prayers and thoughts of the (Sunnyside) community are appreciated," Mrs. Stanton shared.

Her husband was the fire chief for the Sunnyside Fire Department from December 2000 to September 2004. He served as a firefighter for approximately 33 years before resigning under former City Manager Bob Stockwell.

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