A POPULAR Oswestry businessman died after becoming lodged under a sit-on lawnmower, an inquest has heard.
John Russell Cadwallader, known locally as Russell, was discovered by his wife Gwyneth after he failed to come home for his dinner on May 6, this year.
The 82-year-old haulage entrepreneur had been mowing the lawn at his son's home, The Hayes Barns on Racecourse Road on the day of the incident.
A statement from Mrs Cadwalladr read out at Thursday's inquest, said: "When he (Mr Cadwallader) failed to arrive home I drove out to The Hayes Barns and found him.
"I thought he had been knocked out."
She then went to her sister's house to raise the alarm.
The hearing was told how Mr Cadwallader's son David had rushed to the property and desperately tried to tow the lawnmower off his father but the makeshift tow rope snapped.
He eventually managed to move it with the help of his brother John just before paramedics arrived.
Mr Cadwallader had not responded to any of his family and was pronounced dead at the scene. The lawnmower was upside down close to a ditched embankment.
A post mortem revealed Mr Cadwallader had died of asphyxiation and North Shropshire coroner Mr John Ellery record a verdict of accidental death.
The chilled transport pioneer left school at the age of 14 and began work as a farm labourer.
But after developing an interest in machinery and becoming a livestock lorry driver, Mr Cadwallader bought a lorry and began delivering for the Heinz Corporation. He negotiated work with British Steel and with his brother George, G. and R. Cadwallader was formed, later becoming the biggest privately owned haulage firm in the UK and delivering across Europe.
Mr Cadwallader retired in 1996 and the old firm was closed and replaced by Cadwallader Limited run by his sons and based on Maesbury Road, Oswestry.