Loving mum trampled to death by herd of stampeding cows while walking dog in the countryside
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A mum was trampled to death by a herd of stampeding cows while out walking her dog, an inquest was told. Kathy McKellar was found in a field near her rented accommodation.
The 74-year-old was on holiday in Grindleton, Lancashire when she headed out with cockapoo Archie in September last year. She was found dead surrounded by 25 Limousin cows, as well as a number of calves and bulls.
John Towler, who is the owner of the cottage Ms McKellar was renting, noticed she was missing and called authorities after the dog made its way back all alone. He then went out to look for her on September 26 and found her body in one of his fields.
Kathy was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem revealed that she died from traumatic chest injuries. Her son Andy told an inquest, which was held on Monday (February 6), that his mother “loved being outside”.
He said: “She would go on this sort of holiday regularly, she did everything for herself, and she brought up my brother and I pretty much on her own. She loved being outside and walking the dog; it was their happy place.
"We lost my nan two years ago from old age so mum liked to come back up here to feel more connected to her part of the world. Although she was 74 she was still working part-time."
Mr Towler told the inquest that he has never had any prior issues over his cows being aggressive or scared of dogs. The coroner heard that a woman had once been injured in one of his fields in 2018 after she disturbed a herd of sleeping cows.
The Health and Safety Executive has concluded that he had followed all relevant and necessary guidance issued to farmers regarding keeping the public safe.
Following the tragedy, there are calls to raise awareness of the dangers posed by cows and for farmers to be more responsible managing their herds and reducing any risk. Killer Cows is a campaign to achieve just this and was set up by David Clarke, who was left with a number of injuries including a lacerated liver after he was attacked in 2014.