29-year-old Michael Biadasz was on his family farm in Wisconsin when tragedy struck early last week. His father, Robert (Bob) Biadasz, tells WAOW it was “a perfect disaster storm.”
Mike had gone to the manure pit, which is common on farms, on August 15th for routine maintenance. Bob explains that his son succumbed to the deadly gasses trapped in the air within seconds.
“When he broke up that hard crust basically the methane or sulphur dioxide came out of the manure and was sitting there because there was a heavy fog mass… It [the gasses] typically would go up in the air and dissipate… That morning he got out of his truck and walked maybe 25 feet… It overcome him and it was a matter of seconds.”
13 cows were also found dead.
This type of tragic occurrence is rare. Meteorologist, Ashley Allen, from the National Weather Service explains to WSAW that there was no wind that day. There was also an uncommon weather condition where the temperature on the ground was colder than higher up in the atmosphere. Both of these factors may have caused a higher concentration of the toxic gasses than normal.
Just as Mike’s father pointed out the “fog mass,” which would also have been high in moisture, Allen explains that the humidity may have also trapped the toxic gases in the air.
Bob remembers his son with a heavy and grateful heart, “He was the kind of son you could only dream of… He would morning to night farm… I was very fortunate to have a son of Mike’s magnitude, to work with and love.”
Mike’s obituary reads with what his father says is the motto his son lived by, “Live today like you are going to die tomorrow, but farm today like you are going to farm forever.”
WSAQ recommends a gas meter that detects toxicity levels in the air for farmers with these kinds of facilities to prevent these rare circumstances from leading to tragedy. Mike’s family will also be setting up “a farmer safety fund for future farmers.”
Share on Social Media