Man killed mowing grass

PETER LePATOUREL loved taming his little patch of rainforest wilderness.

But a routine mowing job went terribly wrong on Monday, ending his life and eight years of peace and tranquillity.

According to rescue authorities, Mr LePatourel, a 64-year-old retiree living in Tuntable Falls Road, near Nimbin, was cutting grass along the top of a narrow ridge.

One side of the ridge was contained by a fence, but the other side dropped away down a seven-metre, 55-degree slope.

At some point, Mr LePatourel lost control and the mower rolled violently, sending him into the base of a tree. The four-wheel-drive mower, which was towing a trailer, landed on him causing extensive chest injuries.

At the time his wife Lydia was away, having left at 8.30 that morning to work as a volunteer.

She found her husband after returning home about 4pm.

Because of the difficult nature of the property, tucked among tall timber at the base of Mt Nardi, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was called to help.

Pilot Linton Beggs made the decision to hover above the accident site while paramedics Kim Hanlon and Gonzalo de-Angelo were 'inserted' between trees and powerlines at the end of a 40-metre cable.

But the rescue bid came much too late. Paramedics were winched back up and NSW Police Rescue called in to remove the body.

Mr LePatourel's wife said yesterday her husband was devoted to the property, the couple's home for the past eight years.

“He absolutely loved the place,” she said.

“Every year he would cut back some more lantana and invasive weeds and plant natives in their place. He was devoted to the work.”

Mrs LePatourel said the property had a view of Tuntable Falls.

“We fell in love with the property as soon as we saw it,” she said.

“We were happy here.”



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