81-Year-Old Survives Grain Bin Avalanche

By Kyle Inskeep

Published 08/07 2014 04:46PM

Updated 08/07 2014 08:09PM

"When I got here his head was right here, at the top of this doorway," Steve White said. 
"I knew if the corn got over him, he wouldn't be able to move," David Dinn said. 

81-year-old Bill White nearly died inside a grain bin on his Switz City farm Monday.

I've had a lot of close calls, my preacher says they're going to run out one of these days," Bill White said. 

He was clearing out the bin when the corn inside of it toppled onto him.

"Corn avalanched I guess you could say or slid down. But I didn't think too much about that it just caught me right about the knees and I could get out of that but in the next second there's a next avalanche and it went clear over my head," Bill White said. 

His longtime farm-hand David Dinn was first on the scene.

"I just started as fast as I could with the my hands pulling it off," Dinn said. 

Next, came the rest of the rescue team.

All of them work on the farm.

And most of them are family.

"I was starting to get worried. I didn't know if dad was... I didn't know if we could pull it off or not," Steve White said.

"He knew what to do, Jordan there knew what to do," Bill White said. 

Bill's grandson Jordan and his father are both volunteer firefighters in Switz City.

Two years ago they took a course on grain bin extraction.

Knowledge that came in handy.

"Not here. I thought it would come in hand just not on our own farm," Jordan White said.
"Oldest son started cutting some plywood and start handing it in the door, Jake surrounded his body to keep the corn from over avalanching any more on his face," Steve White said. 

And just days later, Bill is already back on the farm calling the shots.

His mindset is no-days-off.

"I got Monday afternoon off," Bill White said.

This comes as no surprise to those who know him best.

"The first thing he was doing when we got his head above the grain and his arms above the grain the first thing he was trying to do was put his hat back on his head," Jake White said.

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