A tree surgeon bled to death when his chainsaw ‘kicked back’ and cut his throat while he was working, an inquest has heard.
Alexander Kirkley died from blood loss in hospital in Oxford two hours after the machinery sliced through his jugular vein at the top of a tree.
The 32-year-old had stopped breathing and was in cardiac arrest by the time he was lowered to the ground.
Oxford Coroners’ Court heard how the arborist had worked in New Zealand for three years where he hoped to set up a self-sufficient village.
His eco-friendly approach to life had seen him live in a Mongolian Yurt for two years.
His mother, Janet Kirkley, said in a statement: ‘Alexander was an amazing young man whose enthusiasm and zest for life came through in everything he did.
‘He visited more than 13 countries and interested people wherever he went. He lived in an eco-friendly way and it was his dream to build and live in an eco-friendly village in New Zealand.
‘Tragically he died at the age of 32 years when so many positive things when happening in his life. It was the first time in three years he was back with family.’
His father, Paul, added: ‘In his 32 years Alexander got more from life and gave more back than most can hope to achieve in twice that time.
‘He died doing the job he loved most, working up trees.’
The hearing heard how Alexander had been helping to chop down two trees in the back garden of a house in February when the accident occurred.
He had been using a top-handed chainsaw to cut small branches off an ash tree before pulling it down in a garden in Campbell Road, Oxford.
He was being subcontracted, alongside another arborist, for Oxfordshire-based Branching Out.
Owner Daniel Edwards told Oxford Coroners’ Court he didn’t keep written risk assessments at the time of the fatal accident.
However, he said although he isn’t legally obliged to do so, in light of what happened he now does.
He added: ‘It was pre-dusk I think you’d call it.
‘It wasn’t light like it is now when the accident happened but it wasn’t dark either.
‘We we probably a handful of cuts away from stopping which I know is no consolation to the family. I felt we had about another 10 or 15 minutes.
‘I would have said ‘Look, it’s getting dark, it’s not safe to work, this can wait.”
The inquest continues and a verdict is expected today.