MOULTON — A 72-year-old Moulton man was killed when the tractor he was driving ran off Alabama 157 and overturned Monday afternoon, authorities said.
State troopers said Melvin Hagood was driving a 241 Massey Ferguson tractor on the southbound shoulder of Alabama 157 near Alabama 33 when the tractor left the roadway and overturned down an embankment at 1:41 p.m.
Lawrence County Coroner Scott Norwood pronounced Hagood dead of blunt force trauma at the scene at 2:02 p.m.
Norwood said the tractor “appeared to have rolled over three or four times” going down a 20-foot embankment. He said the tractor had a roll bar.
Norwood said family members told him Hagood was traveling to Terry’s Jiffy Mart at Alabama 157 and 33 to purchase diesel fuel for his tractor when the accident occurred.
Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter said the accident occurred across the highway from Cornerstone Church about a mile north of the intersection. The accident was outside of Moulton’s city limits but in the police jurisdiction, McWhorter said.
“This is the first fatality around Moulton involving a tractor on a roadway in more than 10 years,” the police chief said.
The last known tractor accident on a Lawrence County roadway was in November 2018 in Hillsboro when a Tuscumbia man died when the pickup he was driving struck a tractor along Alabama 20.
Norwood urged motorists to slow down and move over when they are approaching a tractor on the road. He said tractor drivers should wear protective equipment when on the highway.
Lt. J.R. Ward of the Quad-Cities Troopers Post said the accident is under investigation, and no further information is available.
According to the obituary released from Lawrence Funeral Home in Moulton, Hagood was a retired pipefitter and an avid outdoorsman who loved gardening.
He is survived by his wife, Julia Ray Terry Hagood, two brothers, Herschal Hagood (Patricia) and Dwight Hagood and several nieces and nephews.
There will be a graveside service today at Moulton Memory Gardens for Hagood.
Norman Pool, owner of Pool Farm Equipment in nearby Hatton, urged farmers needing to use state roads to ride in the right-hand lane, not on the shoulder.
“We tell people to get in the lane and put their emergency flashing lights on,” he said. “Driving on the shoulder is dangerous, and if a motorist crowds them even more, they may tend to drive off the shoulder.”