Belfast Telegraph

Son saw father's fatal fall through roof of building at farm

By David Young

The owner of a family-run construction business died when he crashed through a perspex panel of a farm roof he was fixing, an inquest has heard.

Philip Williamson (64) sustained fatal head and neck injuries when he plummeted down into a cattle footbath inside the building in Portrush last November, coroner Suzanne Anderson was told.

Mr Williamson worked with his son and grandson, both also called Philip, in his Bushmills-based business, which carried out work on farms in the area.

Farmer James Chestnut, a family friend, had asked him to replace the leaky roof on the milking parlour at his 200-acre farm on the Ballybogey Road.

The fatal accident happened only minutes after Mr Williamson, a married father-of-five, arrived at the farm on the first day of the job as he tried to traverse the roof of the adjoining cattle pen to access the parlour roof.

His son Philip James Williamson, who had arrived earlier, described the moment he saw his father break through one of the perspex panels.

Mr Williamson wept in the witness box at Ballymena Courthouse as his statement was read out.

"I found my dad lying on the cattle footbath," he said.

"Before the ambulance crew arrived, I knew my father was gone," he added.

Finding the cause of death as head and neck injuries sustained in the fall, Ms Anderson passed her sympathies to Mr Williamson's family.

Belfast Telegraph

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