1. ITV Report

Leading Somerset farmer dies after incident with tractor

A leading farmer and outspoken critic of the NFU has died in a farming accident.

72-year-old Derek Mead died after an incident thought to involve his own tractor at the weekend.

The dairy farmer and businessman from Weston-super-Mare suffered a heart attack following the "tragic accident".

It is with heavy hearts that we have to let you know that our father and grandfather, Derek Mead, was killed in a tragic accident on his farm.

He was doing what he loved and has been doing since he was a young boy.

The family thank you for all your kind messages during this time.

– The Mead family
Derek Mead died on Sunday after an incident at his farm.

Police and paramedics were called to his farm in Hewish shortly after 2pm on Sunday.

Two response vehicles, an ambulance and an air ambulance attended, and rescuers battled unsuccessfully to save the dad-of-three, who was in cardiac arrest.

It is understood that Mr Mead was crushed by a JCB farm loader, a machine used to transport heavy materials

Avon and Somerset Constabulary confirmed the investigation has been passed to the Health and Safety Executive.

A spokesperson said, "The incident has been referred to the coroner as a sudden death.”

The Health and Safety Executive added they were aware of the incident and were making initial enquiries.

Mr Mead owned an organic dairy farm, and also worked as a local councillor, as well as the chairman of the Mead Group, which runs the biggest auction centre in southern England, and Puxton Park, a family attraction.

Tributes have flooded for the farmer - who was well known in agricultural circles.

He was an outspoken critic of the NFU and in 2010, he challenged Peter Kendall for the NFU presidency.

The farmer later resigned from the Union in protest, saying it was failing to support dairy farmers.