A GRANDAD from Ringwood was crushed when he was run over by his own tractor in a freak accident, an inquest heard.

Gavin Howell was working on the machine in his driveway in Crow Arch Lane when it suddenly lurched forward.

The blue Ford 4000 tractor hit a parked Vauxhall Corsa and only stopped when it crashed into the family’s Land Rover.

The 70-year-old called for his wife Kay, who dashed outside to find her husband lying on the ground.

His last words to his wife were that the tractor had squashed him, Southampton Coroner’s Court heard.

Emergency services were called just before 11.30am on July 21 this year.

PC Rob Ellis from Ringwood Police Station was among the first on the scene and helped paramedics carry out CPR before the air ambulance crew took over.

Forensic collision investigation officer PC Andrew McDonald said no mechanical faults were found with the tractor but when Mr Howell was performing maintenance checks with the engine running he had accidentally put the tractor into gear.

PC McDonald said: “As Mr Howell would have been positioned in front of the nearside rear side wheel to operate the diverter valve, the movement of the tractor would have afforded him minimal time to react.”

Coroner Keith Wiseman expressed his condolences to Mrs Howell, who was supported by the couple’s two daughters. He said: “This was a very sad incident.”