Sergeant Scott Ezard, from the Cairns Forensic Crash Unit. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY
Sergeant Scott Ezard, from the Cairns Forensic Crash Unit. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTY

Quad bike farm fatality

A FAR North Queensland farmer was carrying out his regular evening duties on a rural property, about 23km southwest of Tully, when tragedy struck.

Cairns Forensic Crash Unit officer in charge Sergeant Scott Ezard said the 50-year-old man had gone out on a quad bike to check an irrigation unit at the North Murray Rd property, at Murray Upper, about 7.45pm on Monday.

It's understood that on his way back down the farm driveway the man failed to see a trailer that had been parked on the track in the days prior.

"He backed into the rear of the trailer, which caused significant injuries," he said.

"The male has then managed to walk to a nearby shed where he's gotten onto a tractor to return to the farm house (for medical attention).

"But unfortunately during that part of the journey (he) has lost consciousness and the tractor has come to a stop in a small gully area.

"The family have gone out looking for the male (and) he was located."

First aid was performed and paramedics attended, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cairns Forensic Crash Unit and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spent Monday night at the property investigating the death.

The quad bike he was riding has been seized for examination.

"We're at this stage looking at the motorcycle as a contributing factor and looking at whether the lights were operational at the time," Sgt Ezard said.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

A WHSQ spokesman confirmed a team was "on site and investigating the incident".

Monday night's tragic incident follows another farm death at Julatten earlier this month.

The farm worker was declared dead at the property on the corner of Clacherty and Morrish roads after the machinery he was in "rolled down a hill for about 100m" before landing on an embankment.

HEALTH HAZARD

Tractors, other machinery and quad bikes are the leading causes of death, according to Farmsafe Australia. In 2016, quad bikes accounted for the highest number of deaths and injuries overall.

SafeWork Australia says there have been 22 deaths in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry this year across Australia. The statistics also show that there were two quad bike fatalities in Queensland last year, and four in 2016.



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