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Farmer (75) killed after tractor veers off road and into river

AN ELDERLY farmer was killed after his tractor veered off the road and crashed into a river.

Owen Ward (75), from Glenties, Co Donegal, was working on his farm when the tractor crashed into a bridge, left the road, and tumbled down a steep embankment.

A local man, John Quinn, was passing by the scene a short time later and discovered the tractor.

Mr Ward, a married father of three, was reportedly speaking after the accident, but he died a short time later in hospital.

One local said the community had been shocked by his death.

"No one really knows what happened," one man, who did not want to be named, said.

"It was an accident but we're not sure if he accidentally hit the bridge and then went into the water. The stones seemed to have gone down the embankment after the tractor. John happened to be passing and he saw what had happened and went to help Owen."

A post-mortem was carried out on his body and his remains were brought home to Mully last night.

His funeral is due to take place tomorrow morning.

Last year, 25 people died after accidents on Irish farms -- a 10-year high -- and an increase of 127pc on the previous year.

Earlier this month, Coleman Coughlan, a farmer from Reenmore, Ahakista, Co Cork, died in a freak accident after he was caught in a tractor driveshaft while spreading slurry.

Maurice Foley (52), a father of three, died in Araglin, north Cork, after being kicked in the head by a cow on April 10.

Irish Independent