An Orkney farmer died after his quad bike somersaulted and landed on him, an inquest has found.
Thomas Shearer died three days later in Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, after the accident at a farm in Westray on 24 June 2013.
The 51-year-old died after he suffered a fractured left scapula and a fractured left pelvis.
However, Mr Shearer’s death might have been avoided if the bike’s tyres had been regularly checked.
Sherriff Andrew Berry for the area of Grampian, Highland and Islands, published his fatal accident inquiry into Mr Shearer’s death on Wednesday (1 July).
Sherriff Berry said: “Mr Shearer was attending to the welfare of livestock on his farm employing the use of a quad bike.
“The very essence of farming exposes hard-working, experienced, decent, caring people to dangers that do not exist in the daily toil of most people in our communities”
Sherriff Andrew Berry
“Given that he survived initially, I have the benefit of knowing what he said to a number of people as to what had occurred.
“It is further clear that on a slope the bike slipped and Mr Shearer jumped off, landing face down. Thereafter, the bike somersaulted and landed on him.”
Sherriff Berry added: “It would appear that the quad bike had not been as well maintained as it might ideally have been and that, in particular, the appropriate tyre pressures were not in place on the vehicle.
“Additionally, there was not available the necessary tyre pressure gauge for a vehicle of this kind, in general, and of the particular model.”
Sheriff Berry said tragedies such as Mr Shearer’s death could occur in farming “at a moment’s notice”.
“The very essence of farming exposes hard-working, experienced, decent, caring people to dangers that do not exist in the daily toil of most people in our communities,” he added.
“Mr Shearer was tending to his livestock as he would have done on countless occasions, utilising a vehicle that he would safely have used many times without incident.
“It is difficult to imagine the likelihood of the vehicle somersaulting and landing on him after he had jumped off. That, however, is what happened.”
He offered his sincere condolences to Mr Shearer’s wife and children, and all others touched by this tragedy.