Emmerdale vet Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) is left fighting for her life on Thursday 21 February when she’s crushed by an out-of-control tractor driven by her boyfriend Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan) that smashes into the barn at Butler’s farm. As she’s rushed to hospital it emerges the vehicle was faulty and the driver was intoxicated – could farmer Pete have unwittingly killed his other half?
“Pete is hungover after being out with Ellis, Matty and David the previous night,” reveals Quinlan. “He arrives to work late the following morning and gets in a tractor that actually has faulty brakes and is not in safe working order – Cain has told Matty this but they are at each others’ throats and no one relays the information to Pete.
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“While he’s in the tractor, Pete’s phone goes off and he takes the call when he shouldn’t,” continues the actor. “He’s distracted and nearly runs Matty over, then swerves and crashes into the barn – but unbeknown to him Rhona is on the other side…”
As (bad) luck would have it, Rhona has been called to the farm on an emergency job to tend to the livestock, but when she needs help and calls Pete it’s at the exact moment he’s behind the wheel of the faulty farm vehicle. The next thing Rhona knows, she’s knocked to the ground…
“The tractor forks go through the barn wall pushing stacks of hay over which land on Rhona,” says Quinlan. “That pushes her into the fence and gets impaled. It looks quite graphic! She’s impaled through her sides near her liver and stomach, which puts many of her vital organs at risk of rupturing.”
What injuries does Rhona have when the tractor hits her?
Pete panics his beloved’s life is on the line, and knows it’s partly his fault – although blame does lie elsewhere as Cain and Matty’s feud prevented them passing on the full story on the state of the tractor. “After the accident Pete realises Cain should have told him about the faulty machinery. They find Rhona who is slipping in and out of consciousness and bleeding profusely, and Matty calls an ambulance.
“He tries to pass the blame on to Cain and Matty but knows he shouldn’t have been driving and that he was possibly still over the limit from his hangover, plus he was using his phone. Pete has been a bit of a silly boy…
Rhona’s fate is under wraps until the dramatic episodes air, but Quinlan confirms this is a game-changer set to have a big impact. “Depending on the outcome, there are going to be consequences surely. Pete will be beating himself up and there will be a huge pang of guilt. There’s a potential for Rhona to lose her life here due to his stupidity – it’s going to be a huge thing for him to get over. How he’ll deal with it, we’ll just have to wait and see…”
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