Jury to hear inquest into death of farm worker crushed by falling tree

A jury will hear how a farm worker was crushed by a tree at an inquest.

Trevor Kenneth Jones, an arable operator, was felling trees at Serpent Farm off Lower Barnes Road in Ludlow when the incident happened on Tuesday, February 8 this year.

A pre-inquest review at Shirehall was told that at around 9.05am, 54-year-old Mr Jones, known as Ken, disappeared from the view of his colleagues. It was discovered that a large tree that he had just felled was on top of him, and it was so heavy a digger was needed to lift it off.

A colleague called 999 and an air ambulance, road ambulance and police all scrambled to the scene. Mr Jones was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham but was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, told Mr Jones' family members in attendance that it was clear that he had died because of an incident at work, and as a result it needed to be investigated by the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). "Both have concluded their enquiries to this point," he said, "and the inquest has to be heard in front of a jury."

He proposed calling witnesses to give evidence including Chris Gittins, partner at DT Gittins farmers in Ludlow, a colleague of Mr Jones who was on the scene when the incident happened, a police detective inspector and an HSE official.

Mr Ellery explained to the family that according to Rule 22 of the Coroner's Rules 2013, witnesses can refuse to answer questions on the grounds of self-incrimination, and that the rule will be explained to those giving evidence. As well as witnesses appeared at Shirehall, documentary evidence is also expected to be read in the case.

Mr Ellery adjourned the inquest. It will take place over March 20 and 21 next year.

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