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Farmer crushed to death by Land Rover he was attempting to fix

A farmer was accidentally crushed to death by a Land Rover Discovery he was trying to fix, an inquest was told.

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Farmer crushed to death by Land Rover Discovery he was attempting to fix #FarmSafety

Welshman Arthur Huw Owen Smith, 66, was working on his vehicle when it fell and the towbar crushed him.

 

It is thought he lifted the back of the vehicle using a forklift in an attempt to fix a diesel leak.

 

The inquest heard he used a block of wood and the forklift to gain access to the underneath of the vehicle.

 

A statement by Mr Smith’s wife Ann was read out by coroner John Gittins at the hearing.

 

"He would normally leave the farm house at around 8.30am and come back around midday", it read.

 

"Our youngest daughter was writing her dissertation at the time and she heard her dad leave in the morning but hadn’t seen him since. She was expecting him to come in for lunch at about midday."

 

FARM SAFETY

 

"She rang me at about 4.30pm (on February 8) and said she didn’t know where he was.

 

"I got home at around that time and noticed his boots [worn when he wasn’t on the farm] were on the floor and as soon as I saw the boots I knew he was on the farm.

 

"I noticed that the small shed door was open and this was unusual and then I saw the Discovery in the shed."

 

The car was facing the doorway with the JCB forklift behind it.

 

Mrs Smith added: "Increasingly concerned I walked towards the Discovery and noticed Huw’s legs underneath."

 

Mr Smith was unresponsive and the emergency services were called.

 

PC Christian Byron, who attended the scene, said: "I spoke to fire officers and paramedics at the location where a male was trapped and deceased.

 

"I could see the body of the male facing down.

 

"The towbar had trapped him and his face was pressed into the floor.

 

"He appeared to have been in the position for several hours."

 

Cause of death

 

A postmortem examination carried out by Dr Mark Atkinson found the cause of death was crush asphyxia with a lumber spine injury.

 

In recording a conclusion of accidental death, Mr Gittins said: "He would have lost consciousness very quickly.

 

"While I suspect he would have known what happened it would have been very quick.

 

"He was doing something he had probably done before, something he felt comfortable and competent doing.

 

"Unfortunately accidents happen."


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What is an inquest?

 

An inquest is an independent investigation carried out by a coroner in the event of an unnatural death to establish how, where, and why a person or people died.

 

They are held in public and culminate in the coroner recording a conclusion about the cause of death, such as unlawful killing or accident.

 

They are not about apportioning blame: inquests establish what happened and who should be held responsible remains a matter for criminal and civil courts.

 

Source: Daily Post

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