A farmer’s wife was killed after her husband accidentally dropped a heavy steel bucket on her while they tried to mend a broken fence.

Arthur and Joy Turnbull were fixing a fence that had been broken by a cow when the tragedy happened, an inquest in Doncaster was told on Wednesday (22 January).

Mr Turnbull had inadvertently pressed the quick-release button on a Manitou telehandler (similar to the one pictured), which released the half-tonne steel bucket. He had intended to press the button next to it to move the telescopic boom.

Mother-of-two Mrs Turnbull, 65, was holding a fencing post upright when the bucket fell and trapped her, fracturing her spinal cord.

When emergency crews arrived at Bilham House Farm, in Hooton Pagnell, Doncaster, they found Mrs Turnbull trapped under the bucket with crush injuries. Her husband told them: “I’ve killed her, I’ve killed her.”

It took five men to lift the bucket from Mrs Turnbull, who died a week later in hospital from her injuries.

After the inquest, Mrs Turnbull’s family said in a statement: “At the heart of what we all miss about Joy is her generosity of spirit.”

Verdict: Accidental death.

See also: HSE: ‘Telehandlers not for fence post driving’