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Popular beater killed as vehicle falls from bridge

A man killed in an accident on a shoot has been named by police. Brian Harwood, 73, died after a Polaris Ranger and trailer in which he was travelling fell from a bridge on a shoot in Lancashire.

Police said the bridge had collapsed as the vehicle crossed it. The vehicle and trailer are understood to have been carrying members of the shoot’s beating team. A number of other people were seriously injured in the accident, which is reported to have happened around 4.30pm on 18 January during a shoot on private land near Moor Lane in Roeburndale. Police, firefighters, ambulance crews, an air ambulance and cave rescue volunteers all attended the scene.

In a statement, Mr Harwood’s partner said: “Brian meant so much to me and the people around us. Everyone he knew enjoyed his company. We are devastated about what has taken place and fully support the investigation. I ask that people respect our privacy and allow us to grieve in private.”

Detective Inspector Kirsty Wyatt, of Lancashire Police, said: “My thoughts are very much with all those involved in what is a very sad and tragic incident.

“One man has sadly died and a number of people have suffered serious injuries. At this time we believe the vehicle was pulling the trailer, containing a number of people, when a bridge gave way. Those people were then thrown from the vehicle and trailer. Our investigation is at very early stages and enquiries are ongoing to establish what happened.”

Lancashire Police has confirmed that the matter has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive, which is responsible for investigating fatal workplace accidents.

A spokesman for the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust told Shooting Times: “We were deeply distressed to hear about this tragic event. The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust is here to support the whole gamekeeping community and we would encourage anyone who has been affected by this accident to get in contact for advice and support.”

As we went to press, Lancashire Police confirmed that three people have been arrested in connection with the death of Mr Harwood. A 55-year-old man from Preston, a 57-year-old man from Lancaster and a 52-year-old man from Lancaster were arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.