A WOMAN today described her horror as she found her partner dead after a freak accident with a chainsaw.
Shocked Joanne Eland, aged 52, watched in terror as Peter Conway, 62, fell backwards after slicing his neck with a chainsaw two days before Christmas.
She rushed out to her companion of 14 years but says he had died instantly.
Joanne, of Hillside Crescent, Brierley, Barnsley, said: “Peter had gone into the garden to test the chainsaw for a friend who wanted to borrow it. He had the chainsaw on top of an oil drum he used to burn things in and he was standing in front of it to test it worked.
“I heard the chainsaw start up in the garden and came through from the living room to see what Peter was doing.
“I looked through the kitchen window into the garden and just saw Peter falling backwards, away from the chainsaw, which was still on the drum.
“I didn’t know what had happened, I thought he may have just slipped or something but I went out to see if he was ok.
“When I got to him, it was dreadful. He was in a bad state. There was blood and he had a huge cut across his neck. It was horrific.
“We don’t know what happened exactly but the only thing I can think is that the chainsaw jumped up and the force threw him backwards.
“It had to have killed him instantly, because from what I saw, there was no way he could have survived that.”
Joanne said their 14-year-old daughter Trudy ran outside when she heard her mum screaming.
She said: “I was panicking, I didn’t know what to do.
“But it was like Trudy clocked into calm mode and she was telling me to call an ambulance.
“They did everything they could, but Peter was gone. There was nothing anybody could do.”
Joanne added: “Christmas was obviously awful.
“I just can’t believe this has happened.”