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An inquest was held on the body of the late John Mounsey, before H. A. Stratford, Esq., Coroner, and a full jury, at the New River Hotel, Dunganville, on the night of the 20th inst. Dennis O'Donnell was chosen foreman, and the following evidence taken : — William Arnetb deposed that he, in company with John Morton, at about a quarter to 8 a.m. on the 20th, was engaged in throwing down timber (soldiers) from off New River Terrace, to a flat at the mouth of the claim tunnel, about 90 feet below the tip, at which place he was standing. That Morton threw down first, after calling out "Look out below," as a caution to them below. In a few minutes witness began to throw down a piece of wood, about half a cwt. in weight, but not until he had looked down to see if any one was below, and had called out "Look out below," Morton having cautioned him to do so; There was no one that he could see on the flat before he threw the timber. After he had thrown v. he was about to throw a second piece, when he saw a man lying on the ground below. He called out to Morton, who was about 20 feet off, and they (the Wo men) ran down the track to the flat where M'Kee and James Arnett were, saw the deceased John Mounsey lying on his back dead, his mouth bleeding, and a gash on his skull. His body was near where the timber had been thrown, and one piece about 10ft oft the body. He' had no doubt that Mounsey was killed by one ot those pieces of timber that had been thrown down morning, striking him on the head. John Morton's evidence was corroborative as to time, place, occupation, and the usual caution to those below. He was the first to throw. There was no man below when he left off. J. M'Kee, deposed that he was in the smithy before 8 on 20th. Mounsey was with him. Just before this time Mounsey was at the tunnel mouth about to shift some trucks, when witness called to him to come away until the timber had been thrown down. Mounsey came across to the smithy, and witness then went on with his work pointing picks. In a few minutes he saw Mounsey going on the tunnel hand line. He remembeied hearing some one calling out from the Terrace to ' ' look out below. " He was not intimate with Mounsey, had only known him a week before when he came to work in this claim. James Annett called his attention to Mounsey lying dead. It was only a few minutes after deceased had been in the smithy. James Annett was the first of those on tiia flat below to see Mounsey lying on his back dead. Mounsey was deaf. The jury deliberated for some short time, and came to the conclusion unanimobsly that there was not sufficient evidence to enable them to decide from whose hands the piece of timber fell that killed John Mounaey, and gave their verdict accordingly as follows : — " That on the 20th November, 1884, at the New River Terrace Clatm, John Mounsey was instantaneously and accidentally killed by the falling of apiece of timber on his head, and that he came to his death casually by misfortune, and not otherwise." It was said he was single, about 50 years of age, 16 to 17 years in the district, a native of the North of England, and had bought into the claim about a week previously.

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Bibliographic details

THE MAORI CREEK FATALITY., Grey River Argus, Volume XXXI, Issue 5043, 24 November 1884

Word Count

THE MAORI CREEK FATALITY. Grey River Argus, Volume XXXI, Issue 5043, 24 November 1884

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