Strange accident injures man
July 3, 2008 · Updated 1:32 PM
"Roger Cady of Oak Harbor is recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being seriously injured in an unusual accident involving a Cadillac and a backhoe Tuesday.Cady, 37, was operating a Kubota backhoe on West Beach Road near Hastie Lake Road, trying to move a piece of concrete, at around 4 p.m., according to State Patrol Sgt. Rick Grimstead.Robert Buttel, 79, of Coupeville was driving a 1997 Cadillac DeVille southbound on West Beach Road and did not see the tractor in the road until it was too late. Buttel's Cadillac struck the backhoe, tipping it over and ejecting Cady.Cady sustained a spinal fracture and a serious head injury. He was taken to Whidbey General Hospital and then airlifted to Harborview. He was upgraded from critical to satisfactory condition Friday, according to a Harborview spokesperson.Buttel sustained a head injury and was transported by ambulance to Whidbey General Hospital.Grimstead said a couple of factors led to the accident. The sun at the time of day is low on the horizon and may have blinded Buttel.Also, there was only one flagger on the road to warn cars, Grimstead said, and the flagger was much too close to the backhoe to warn anyone in time. The flagger was about 100 feet from where Cady was working, he said, but should have been about 1,000 feet up the road.Buttel slammed on his brakes about 100 feet from the tractor, but he apparently didn't have enough time or space to avoid the collision.Grimstead said the state patrol is still investigating the case. He said both Buttel and Cady may face traffic citations.The Cadillac was totalled and the back hoe sustained $1,000 in damages. "