Man stable after tractor pull accident at Stanislaus County Fair

A sold-out crowd of about 3,000 people watched as a 16-ton tractor-pull sleigh backed over a man at the Stanislaus County Fair.

He was hospitalized with a fractured ankle and lacerations to his lower back, authorities said. He's in stable condition and expected to recover from his injuries.

About 30 minutes into the show Wednesday night, participant Loy Riddle, 51, was standing behind the sleigh when it backed over him, trapping him underneath, according to fair spokeswoman Adrenna Alkhas.

The Turlock Fire Department responded and fair officials brought in a forklift to get the sleigh off Riddle, Battalion Chief Gary Luns-ford said.

He said the sleigh was so heavy that the forklift started to tilt under its weight. About 15 people got on top of the forklift to help keep it down, and then it was able to lift the sleigh just enough for firefighters to slide a backboard under Riddle and pull him to safety, Luns-ford said. The process took about 20 minutes.

A medical helicopter landed in the middle of the arena and Riddle was flown to a local hospital.

After medical crews cleared the arena, the tractor pull went on as scheduled, Alkhas said.

Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at etracy@modbee.com or (209) 578-2366.