Walking is still painful for Dean Doll, but he considers himself lucky to even be on his feet.
The 77-year old Alberta farmer spent more than two weeks in hospital after being run over by a truck.
Doll was working on his field on Sept. 18 when he says he noticed someone get out of a vehicle and steal his 2004 Chevrolet Silverado truck, which was parked on the side of a rural road west of Spruce View.
“I was quite furious, and I went flying over there,” Doll recalled.
“All of a sudden, they are coming back at me. This bonehead just cranked his truck over and took me. I flew through the air some 30 to 40 feet and into the ditch.”
RCMP said he was struck by a white, newer-model pickup truck and noted that another vehicle, a blue car with a female driver, was also involved in the incident.
Doll was seriously injured and attempted to crawl from the ditch. Fortunately, a neighbour spotted him there.
He was flown by STARS Air Ambulance to a Calgary hospital. While recovering from broken bones and a concussion, his thoughts turned to his farm.
“How am I going to get my crop off? How am I going to combine? Because I can’t even walk,” Doll said on Thanksgiving Monday.
On Sept. 27, the community came to the rescue on Doll’s canola field. Ten combines and an army of more than 60 neighbours harvested Doll’s entire 200 acres.
“I think it’s what most any rural community would do. I think it’s just something you do. You help somebody out when they’re in a bind,” said neighbour Rob Nanninga.
“It’s heartwarming. It’s nice to see everybody come together. Dean is a really good community member. Dean and Janet and the whole family. They do a lot for a lot of people. It’s just a little way to pay him back a little bit.”
Doll watched the harvest happen from a laptop in his hospital bed.
“They set it up so that right at lunchtime, everybody went out and there are people laughing and having a ball. It was just so wonderful to see a community come together,” Doll said.
Doll’s stolen truck was recovered a short distance from where it was taken. RCMP believe there were several people involved. No arrests have been made.
“We believe that there were several people involved in this incident and are hopeful that someone will come forward with information,” said Const. Sara Devine with Innisfail RCMP in a news release on Sept. 19.
“The white truck that hit the victim may have some damage to the front end, and we would very much like to speak to anyone that has information on this incident.”
Doll believes his story shows there is far more good in his community than bad. He hopes the people who did this to him get the help they need.
“So much good can come out of people when they want to do it. I think it’s kind of second nature,” Doll said.
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