The brother of Electric Light Orchestra star Mike Edwards has called for new safety laws to be introduced on farms following an inquest into the cellist's bizarre death.
Edwards died instantly when a 1,320-pound (600-kilogram) hay bale came tumbling down a steep hill and onto the van he was driving through Devon, England last September (10). The bale is believed to have rolled down a slope after being placed there by a farm worker.
Following an inquest into the accident on Tuesday (15Mar11), which ruled Edwards' death as accidental, his brother David has called for proper safety assessments to be made on farms where baling takes place.
He says, "Michael's death was totally unnecessary and totally preventable if a proper assessment of the risks of baling on a steeply sloping field next to a public road had been carried out.
"I would like to ask the coroner to recommend the Hse (Health and Safety Executive) revise their guidelines to include the hazards of baling on sloping ground, so similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.
"My brother's death has touched so many people's lives, not just my own family but the very many friends he had here in Devon, his music pupils, the many ensembles and orchestras he played with and loyal fans of Elo. He will be sadly missed by us all."
Edwards quit the band at the height of its fame in 1975 to become a Buddhist.