ELO Bassist Death Ruled An Accident

An investigation into the death of Electric Light Orchestra cellist Michael Edwards wrapped up with a Plymouth, England, coroner ruling that the musician’s freak accident death was indeed an accident.

Edwards died last September after a 600-kilogram (1,300 pound) bale of hale rolled nearly 200 feet down a field onto a rural road in Devon, England, crashing into his water bottle delivery van. According to U.K.’s The Sun, Edwards died instantly from massive head injuries.

The cellist played with the British rock group between 1972 and 1975.

An independent expert and a Health and Safety Executive testified at Tuesday’s inquest.

“My gut reaction was that there was a dangerous slope on that field,” HSE inspector Simon Jones told the inquest jury, according to The Sun.

“There was the potential for a round bale to roll. The steeper the slope, the greater the potential for it to roll. It was foreseeable that such a bale would roll through the hedge and into the road.”

Edwards’ brother David released the following statement after the inquest:

“Michael’s death was totally unnecessary and preventable if a proper assessment of the risks of carrying out a baling operation on a steeply-sloping field adjoining a public road had been carried out.

“I would like to ask the coroner to consider making a recommendation to the HSE to revise its guidelines to include the hazards of a baling operation on sloping ground, so that similar tragedies may be prevented in future.”