‘It was a miracle’: Farmer saved after being buried under soybeans in grain bin

A lifelong Sumrall farmer is now recovering at Forrest General Hospital after he was rescued from a grain bin filled with soybeans on Tuesday.
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 11:14 AM HST
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SUMRALL, Miss. (WDAM/Gray News) - A lifelong Mississippi farmer is recovering after he was buried by 10 to 12 feet of soybeans in a grain bin Tuesday.

Debra Thornhill is counting her blessings knowing her brother Wayne Breakfield is alive.

Thornhill said she realized he was inside a grain bin when she could hear him hitting it from the inside.

“Well, I begin to run, and I got down here,” she told WDAM.

It didn’t take long for the family to determine they needed help.

The Sumrall Volunteer Fire Department was among the cavalry to answer the call, along with dozens of others.

“All I could think of was, ‘We’ve got to get him out as quick as possible,’” Sumrall Volunteer Fire Chief Virginia Hayes said. “When I got on the scene, they were saying they could hear him moaning and groaning underneath all of that, so we knew he was still alive.”

Crews had to use a circular saw to cut through the thick metal.

With each passing minute, the family members worried about the oxygen left in the silo as Breakfield remained wedged near the auger below the beans.

“It was a whole lot harder to stay calm once I knew he had been quiet for a while,” Breakfield’s daughter, Angelene Lowe, said. “As long as I knew they could hear him I could hold it together.”

After an hour and three cuts, Breakfield was finally free.

“A lot of thanksgiving, just thanking the Lord for keeping his hand on him, thankful for the support he received and his watch and protection over not just daddy, but those people as well,” Lowe said.

It’s a rescue Hayes and her volunteers said they will never forget.

“He told me that if it had been five more minutes, he doesn’t think he would have made it,” Hayes said. “It was a relief to know that my prayers and everybody else’s prayers had been answered. It was a miracle.”

There’s still a long road ahead for Breakfield and his family. He’ll likely lose a few toes and is still in the hospital, but loved ones are just thankful he’s still here.

The family said they are thankful for all of the agencies that responded to the call to help Breakfield.