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Giant hay bale kills founder of ELO

A founding member of rock group Electric Light Orchestra has been killed when a giant bale of hay tumbled down a hill and crashed on to his van.

Cellist Mike Edwards, 62, died after the 94-stone (600kg) bale careered down the side of a steep Devon field before it smashed through a hedge and on to the road.

He died instantly in the accident on Friday afternoon.

Police are now investigating whether the bale may have fallen from a tractor working on farmland next to the A381 in Halwell, near Totnes.

They believe the musician was killed after the loose bale gathered momentum as it rolled down the hill before landing on the front cab of his white van.

He is understood to have swerved into a similar vehicle as he was struck, at around 12.30pm. The second driver was unhurt in the collision.

Sgt Steve Walker of the Devon and Cornwall Police traffic unit, said: "This was a tragic accident and we have now identified the victim as Michael Edwards, a founder member of ELO.

"We have used photographs and YouTube footage to identify him but we now need help contacting his family for formal identification."

Officers were hoping to contact a man named David in the Yorkshire area who is believed to be Mr Edward's brother.

The musician is understood to have no immediate family but may have taught cello in Devon and police have asked his students to contact them if they have any further information about his relations.

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