Saturday 7 December 2019

Probe underway as 'best friends' killed after tractor tyre explodes

The scene of the farm accident where Kevin Wood and Seamus Hegarty (inset) lost their lives. Photo: North West Newspix
The scene of the farm accident where Kevin Wood and Seamus Hegarty (inset) lost their lives. Photo: North West Newspix

Greg Harkin

Attempts will be made today to establish the cause of a farm accident in co Donegal which claimed the lives of two men.

Seamus Hegarty and Kevin Woods, both aged 52, had been working in potato fields near Crossroads in east Donegal when the accident happened at 6pm last night.

It is believed that the two llife-long friends were killed last night when a tyre exploded on a tractor they were fixing.

Mr Woods had rented land in the area close to Red Hugh's GAA club and Mr Hegarty had been helping him.

They were inflating a tyre in a farmyard when it exploded.

Ambulance crews rushed to the scene but it is understood both men died instantly.

Mr Hegarty was a married father of four children, aged between seven and 18. Mr Woods was single.

Gardai sealed off the scene last night and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have been informed.

Officials from the organisation were expected to arrive at the scene later today.

Mr Hegarty was a brother of former Derry City player and ex-Finn Harps manager Paul Hegarty.

He was at the Garda cordon close to the scene last night as investigations into the deaths continued.

Cllr Frank McBrearty, who knew both men, said the whole of Donegal was in deep shock.

"They were two solid, hard-working and honest men," he said. "The whole community right across the county will be in mourning because both men were so well-known and liked."

Mr Hegarty was from Argery, Cloughfinn. Mr Woods was from Crossroads. The two men had only started working on the land on Thursday. The men had gone to school together.

Garda forensic officers arrived at the scene shortly after 9pm.

Local people carried mugs of tea to distraught relatives at the cordon.

"It's hard to take this all in," said one neighbour. "They were two best friends who went through life together.

"It's just devastating for both families."

It is understand that post mortem examinations will take place later on today. The bodies of the men have been removed to Letterkenny Hospital.

This morning the scene remains seal off to enable an investigation by the Health and Safety authority.

Irish Independent

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