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Waukesha man says he learned lessons after hand got stuck in snow blower

"First time using it, just wasn't thinking," Waukesha resident, Tyler Hoeffner explained. A little more than twenty-four hours after a scary accident with his new snow blower.
Posted at 9:51 AM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 10:51:42-05

WAUKESHA — "First time using it, just wasn't thinking," Waukesha resident, Tyler Hoeffner explained.

He walked back to his garage in Waukesha Wednesday evening. A little more than twenty-four hours after a scary accident with his new snow blower.

He said he, "went to clean out the chute and got my hand pulled.”

He also said it was his first time using this snow blower."It works a little bit differently than my last one and I thought the fan was turned off when the chute got clogged. And I went to try to dislodge it and the fan caught my hand and ripped it in and crushed it."

He said that's when his wife called 9-1-1.

After multiple attempts to free his crushed hand, the Waukesha Fire Department had to come up with a new plan.

"Tried a couple different saws and ended up bringing out the big one. That was a little nerve-wracking,” Hoeffner said.

He believes this incident could have been worse.

"Two fingers pretty badly crushed and lacerated but had surgery this morning and absolute best case scenario, Hoeffner explained.

Before firefighters went back to the station, they made sure Hoeffner had one less thing to worry about.

"The firefighters stayed back and finished shoveling the driveway which was a really touching moment. Nice to know there's still some good people out there,” Hoeffner said.

He said he learned a lot from this accident. "Think twice a little bit before go to do anything you'll regret.”

The fire department says to always use caution when working with a snow blower.

“The biggest message is going to be to turn the machine off and free any clogs, utilizing a stick, or maybe a device that came with the snowblower, not using your hands, her arms in the machinery,” Waukesha Fire Division Chief, Pat Rettler explained.