Accident kills careful farmer

PUBLISHED: 09:47 16 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

A YOUNG farmer described as being safety conscious" died in an agricultural accident, an inquest was told. David Townsend, 22, of Weston Avenue, Royston, was killed when he fell from a tractor he was driving and became trapped in machinery, being dragge

A YOUNG farmer described as being "safety conscious" died in an agricultural accident, an inquest was told. David Townsend, 22, of Weston Avenue, Royston, was killed when he fell from a tractor he was driving and became trapped in machinery, being dragged 200 yards, at Home Field, Thriplow. The accident happened on October 27 last year. His mother, Maureen Townsend, of New Road, Melbourn told an inquest at Cambridge: "He never took any risks. He never wore any rings or watches or anything as he knew they could get caught in machinery." Mrs Townsend said that her son had been working for Parker Farms of Bassingbourn for 18 months after studying at an agricultural college in St Albans. The inquest heard how Mr Townsend's body was discovered by landowner Nigel Smith after a man walking a dog had told him there was an unmanned tractor still running in the field. Timothy Parker, company director of Parker Farms, said he had known Mr Townsend since he was a child. He told the inquest: "He had a head on him beyond his years and was very dedicated and very safety conscious." Gavin Bull, health and safety inspector, said that the tractor was found with its steering wheel up and the door open. He said the only explanation he could offer was that Mr Townsend had possibly leaned out of the vehicle to adjust a wing mirror and fallen. A jury returned a verdict of accidental death. Coroner David Morris said: "This was a tragic loss of life for such a young man.

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