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Friday, December 30, 2011

Girl, 14, sees father bleed to death after accidentally slicing his neck open with a chainsaw two days before Christmas

-Grandfather-of-12 slipped as he tested chain saw

By Leon Watson

Happier times: Peter Conway with partner Joanne Eland their 14-year-old daughter Trudy

Mr Conway's partner of 14 years, and Trudy's mother, Joanne Eland, 52, from Brierley, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said her daughter was still in shock.

She said: 'It was about half 10 in the morning and Peter had gone into the garden to test the chainsaw for a friend who wanted to borrow it.

'He had the chainsaw on top of an oil drum he used to burn things in and he was standing in front of it to test it worked.

'I heard the chainsaw start up in the garden and came through from the living room to see what Peter was doing.

'I looked through the kitchen window into the garden and just saw Peter falling backwards, away from the chainsaw, which was still on the drum.

'I didn't know what had happened, I thought he may have just slipped or something but I went out to see if he was OK.

'When I got to him, it was dreadful. He was in a bad state. There was blood and he had a huge cut across his neck. It was horrific.

'We don't know what happened exactly but the only thing I can think is that the chainsaw jumped up and the force threw him backwards.

'It had to have killed him instantly, because from what I saw, there was no way he could have survived that.'

Miss Eland said her daughter Trudy was 'a rock', who took charge.

'I was panicking, I didn't know what to do. But it was like Trudy clocked into calm mode and she was telling me to call an ambulance.

'While I rang 999 she ran for a friend to come and help. The emergency services told me to get a clean towel to try and compress the bleeding, but it was too late.

'It seemed like hours until the ambulance came but it was only about 10-15 minutes.

'They did everything they could, but Peter was gone. There was nothing anybody could do,' she said.

Describing the days since the accident, Joanne said: 'Christmas was obviously awful. I've just tried to keep everything normal for our baby Trudy.

'We were planning a lovely Christmas together, at home like we always did. I just can't believe this has happened.'

Miss Eland called the emergency services but paramedics and ambulance staff were unable to save Peter as his injuries were too great.

Miss Eland said he was a 'brilliant' man who would have helped anyone. If he had a fiver in his pocket, he would have given it to you.

'He was such a loving man and he loved his family. It's still raw, it's unbelievable.'

She said she didn't know why the friend wanted the chainsaw but said if anyone wanted something from Mr Conway, he had to do it straight away.

Dangerous: Mr Conway, from South Yorkshire, died after slicing his neck with a chainsaw (stock picture)

Mr Conway did not work as he suffered from emphysema and bronchitis and had only been out of hospital two weeks.

A family friend, who did not wish to be named, said: 'He was a good friend, we're all devastated.

'It's something you read in the papers and see on television. You don't think it's going to happen to you. The whole village is in shock.'

Debbie Martin, the landlady of Brierley Social Club, said Mr Conway was a popular man.

She added: 'He was a very liked gentleman. He would do anything for anyone if he could. He came in every day, only for a few hours but it was what he liked to do.

'He was very popular with the other customers, they always spoke and had good conversations.'

A South Yorkshire Police major incident unit attended the scene on Friday lunchtime but said there was nothing suspicious about the tragic death.

A postmortem was carried out on Wednesday and showed Peter bled to death. An inquest has been opened and adjourned.

Peter is survived by Joanne, Trudy and his children from a previous relationship Shelly, 35, and Lee Conway, 22.



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