FATAL ACCIDENT AT FORTROSE
(FROM OUR OW.I CORRESPOSD2NT Juno 19th. The inquiry into the cause of death of the young man, Arthur \V. B. Sclator—who, as I advised you by wire on the 17th, had been found dead on the bank of the Titirau River — took place this day at a hut near the dwelling of Mr Kieh. Constable l''ret\veH caused the following persons to be sworn as jury, viz., Messrs J. I<\ Brunton, L. Likdle, J. It. Kidd, W. B. Sangstor, J. Preston, A. M'Kenzie, A. Christie, W. O. Kiel), Templeton, M'Gee, D. M'Lean, and H. Douglas. Mr J. I<\ Brunton was chosen foreman, and Mr C. R. Brunton acted as deputy-coroner. It appears that the deceased arrived by the Manapouri, s.s., from England, on her last trip, and was cousin to Mr K. S. Vernon, who holds .1 portion of the estate in conjunction with Mr Ilich. The deceased intended to stay with Mr Vernon for a period. Ho arrived nt the ToiTois in the fore part of the past week, and had been constantly in the company of Mr Vernon until the day of the sad occurrence. Mr Vernon, on that day, had occasion to visit somo works at an early hour on a distant part of the estate, leaving the deceased at the homestead (Mr Rich's). The deceased left the house in the early part of the forenoon, in the company of Miss Josephine Rich, with the intention of shooting ducks on the Titirau. A short distance from the house the river runs through a flat, which is covered by small bush and scrub of various kinds, very dense in places and pretty open in others. About noon the deceased inquired of Miss Rich what time they had luncheon. She replied, from 12 to half-past, Ho
then requested hor to proceed homewards, and ho would shortly follow and probably overtake her. Ho thon appears to have proceedod towards the river and followed the bank, as his body was found at a clearing made by woodcutters. According to tho evidonco, it appoars he must havo been m tho act of passing from tho bush uptho river, having first placed his hat on a bough above, and evidontly having hold of the gun (a doublo-barrollod breoch-loader) by the barrel with tho loft hand, tho stock next the ground. The triggor of ono barrel must caught against a twig and caused tho gun to discharge itself whilst docoasod was in that position. The othor barrel, when found, was loaded, and the triggor at full cock. Ine charge'took effect in tho forehead, towards tho left cyo, completely shattering tho skull. Tho deceased must have stumbled forward into the wator, leaving the gun upon tho bank, as his body was found in about two foet- of water. The body was discovered by Mr W. G. Rich and Mr W. G. Rich, jun., on Saturday morning, the 17th. They had taken a boat and proceeded up the river in quest of linn. As soon as they discovered the body they returned for assistance. Constablo I'retwell and Detective Ede boing fortunately in the immediate neighbourhood, proceeded in company with Mr Kidd and tho Messrs Rich to the place indicuted, and there found the body as stated. The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death." Much sympathy will be felt by many hero, both for his relative here and those nearer and dearer to him at Home. _ I believe the deceased was a native of Sussex, England, and was for some time tutored at Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He was a young man of grand physique, being an adept at football, cricket, and other manly sports^ standing G feet 5 inches without boots, and proportionately well made.
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