VALE | It could have been a call about what was for dinner that night, or how the kids were doing, or what time he'd be home from work.
Jed Hall's voice was just that calm when he phoned his wife, Helen, to deliver some very bad news after he was severely injured in an accident while grinding corn at his employer, Leber Ag, in Vale on Jan. 28.
When his clothing got tangled up in a power take-off shaft of a grinder, Hall's body was thrashed about and his entire lower body and midsection were crushed.
Helen Hall remembers how reserved her husband was when he called to tell her he had been hurt.
"Very calmly he said, 'I was in an accident, an ambulance is coming to get me, I think I broke my leg. I will call you from the hospital,'" Helen Hall recalls.
But it was much worse than that. Hall, 27, will have a long recovery ahead.
He sustained numerous broken bones including several ribs, both femurs, his left ankle, right foot and right forearm. He also has severe bruising to the lungs, diaphragm and spleen.
Hall’s friend, Collin Duprel, painted a horrific and dramatic picture of the accident in a post on a website set up to help the Halls pay for medical expenses.
“After being caught on the PTO, it spun his body viciously,” Duprel said. “It was actually spinning so hard it flung his boots (which were strapped on) the better part of 60 feet, and ripped his coveralls and coat completely.”
Hall is doing a bit better after surgery on his hip and pelvis. The Go Fund Me site has raised $32,460 to date; Duprel hopes it will raise $50,000.
Lori Leber and her husband Dave are owners of Leber Ag Service in Vale and are Hall's employers.
"He kept wanting to sit up," Lori Leber said. "He apologized for doing something so stupid.”
Hall, who does a variety of jobs for Leber Ag, was grinding corn about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Reports of the accident say a piece of clothing got caught in the u-joint of the PTO shaft as the tractor was running an auger. Hall was pulled into the spinning PTO and banged around. It is not known how the tractor stalled and shut off.
Hall’s wife, Helen, calls it divine intervention.
"It’s just a miracle the tractor shut off. It ripped his coat, coveralls and boots before it came to a stop. Anyway, the Lord spared his life," she said.
Dave Leber and a client found Hall. After the accident, the Newell Ambulance service took him to Sturgis where they met up with a paramedic who advised them to transport immediately to Rapid City Regional Hospital. There he went into immediate surgery lasting eight hours with 10 procedures done during the operation.
Hall was born at Ellsworth Air Force Base and was raised at Enning. Helen Hall was born in Nebraska and spent her childhood in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The two met when they attended Sunshine Bible Academy in Miller. They eloped in December 2005, and now have two children, Savannah, 7, and Gabriel, 3.
"Jed is a great daddy and very proud of his kids," his wife said. "I am just so glad my Jedders is alive."
Hall has worked for Leber Ag since this past July. Just the week before the accident, Hall was manning the store for the Lebers as they attended their children's basketball games.
"He was supposed to just run the store in the morning and then he was done," said Lori Leber. "He called and had decided to grind some corn that morning. It could have happened then when he was here all alone."
The Lebers look on their relationship with Jed as family. They had planned to send him and his wife to the ranch rodeo in Rapid City during the stock show. They even had a hotel room booked for the couple and their children.
As news of the accident spread, postings started on Facebook sharing love, prayers and support.
In addition to the Go Fund Me website, there is also an account set up at Northern Hills Federal Credit Union branches in Sturgis, Spearfish and Belle Fourche. Several middle school students at Newell hosted a bake sale at Tuesday night's basketball game and raised funds to "Help Fix Jed."
Helen Hall said things are a bit chaotic but with the help she has had with family and friends being at the hospital she has been able to spend time with her children and try to explain where their father is and what is happening.
"I went home for a little while and talked with the kids," said Helen. "Gabe saw pictures of daddy and I explained as well as I could to him."
Hall is expected to be hospitalized up to two months and probably will have months to possibly a year to recover. For more information on his recovery, visit facebook.com/helenjharkins.