A farmer was accidentally killed when he was buried alive in a hole while trying to free his trapped dog, an inquest has concluded.
Father-of-three Gary Davies, 36, was trying to reach his trapped terrier Llecau when he posed for a photograph in the 6ft hole.
The inquest at Pontypridd, Wales, heard how the loose earth collapsed around farmer Mr Davies – and he died three days later in hospital.
Mr Davies had been walking his pet in a field with friends on 13 January this year when the six-year-old dog got stuck “deep underground”.
The group called for the help of neighbouring farmer Raymond Rees, who brought along his JCB to make the hole bigger.
Rees used the vehicle to create a “big hole” to make it easier to reach the animal.
Mr Davies’ cousin, Claire Burns, who was on the walk with him, said: “Gary then jumped in to get the dog out.
“He was trying to reach down the tunnel for the dog and, as he did, this tunnel collapsed.”
Burns said Mr Davies had asked her to take a photo of him standing in the hole just moments before it collapsed.
The inquest heard Mr Davies was stuck beneath the soil for around 20 minutes in Rhayader, mid Wales.
The consistency of the soil was described as “sandy and easily dug out” – with around “three or four wheelbarrows-full” collapsing onto Mr Davies.
Police said the small dog appeared minutes later as Mr Davies was waiting for medical help.
Mr Davies was airlifted by an ambulance crew to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham but died three days later.
Sergeant Vicky Lloyd, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said they found a “large hole in ground around 6ft deep and was partially filled”.
She said the dog “appeared to have blood on its nose but no other injuries”.
Dr Ravi Hebballi said Mr Davies suffered a collapse of his right lung as well as a “severe” hypoxic brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen.
Mr Davies’ wife, Emma Davies, said the couple were married in 2011 and lived with their three children in Temple Bar, St Harmon, Rhayader.
She said her husband was a “quiet and shy man” who worked with his father and brother on their farm.
Assistant coroner Rachel Knight recorded a conclusion of accident/misadventure.
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