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Court probe into death of man crushed by fallen tree

Court probe into death of man crushed by fallen tree

A Fatal Accident Inquiry is to be held after a 29-year-old man was crushed to death by a tree.

John William Phillips had been cutting down trees in woodland near Kirriemuir in March 2013 when he was killed.

Mr Phillips, of Balkeerie, near Forfar, was found by emergency services to be trapped underneath a fallen tree near to Auchendorie Farm in Westmuir.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Now, a Fatal Accident Inquiry is to take place next month to establish the full circumstances of Mr Phillip’s death.

A spokesman for the Crown Office confirmed that a preliminary hearing for the Fatal Accident Inquiry was due to be heard on Thursday at Forfar Sheriff Court. A full hearing into the matter will then take place on December 8, also at Forfar Sheriff Court.

Mr Phillips had been a woodcutter by trade.

Reports from the time of the incident state that he had been working with a member of the Cochrane family, who owned Auchendorie Farm, when the tragedy occurred.

Police and ambulance crews attended the scene at about 1.45pm on March 14 2013 after the alarm was raised by a colleague of Mr Phillips.

The teams used specialist equipment to free Mr Phillips but he couldn’t be revived.

A joint investigation was launched by the legacy force of Tayside Police as well as the Health and Safety Executive.

Following their inquiry, a report was then submitted to the procurator fiscal for consideration on what action to take.

Neighbours of Mr Phillips described him as “a nice, cheery lad”.

Sandy Cochrane, of Auchendorie, said: “It’s just a great loss.”

Mr Phillips was understood to have had a partner and a young family.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, locals left flowers at the scene of the incident.

Fatal Accident Inquiries can take place for a variety of reasons, including a death in the workplace.

They are held to try to establish if there could be anything learnt from the incident and if safety procedures were satisfactory.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Telegraph website. For more information, read about our new combined website.