A dog-lover tragically died after he was buried alive trying to rescue his pet from a hole in a country field, an inquest heard.
Dad-of-three Gary Davies, 36, was trying to reach his trapped sheepdog when he was caught in the tunnel fall.
The farmer from Rhayader, Wales, had been searching for his beloved pup after it “ran loose” in the countryside and burrowed into a hole.
He began digging to free the frightened animal – but an inquest heard the loose earth fell on top of him as he shovelled
Mr Davies was taken out of the hole by emergency services but died five days later in hospital on January 16, Wales Online reports.
The livestock farmer was at Gorse Farm in St Harmon, Rhayader, when the dog raced off towards common land.
An inquest was opened into his death on Friday as police carried out an investigation into the tragedy for the coroner in Pontypridd, Wales.
Coroner’s officer Emma Mathias told the hearing that Mr Davies’ dog “ran loose” before going down a hole.
She told the hearing: “Mr Davies had gone in the hole trying to reach the dog and some of the loosing fell on top of him and buried him.”
A post-mortem indicated Mr Davies had sustained a brain injury but a full investigation has yet to conclude.
Coroner Graeme Hughes said the full hearing will take place at the coroners’ court in Welshpool when all the evidence has been collected.
Gary’s family were today comforting each other at their isolated farm in close-knit St Harmon but declined to comment on the tragedy.
Tributes poured in for the devoted dad-of-three, who was from a large farming family and well-known in the rural area.
Hundreds of friends remembered Mr Davies – telling wife Emma their thoughts were with her and their children Tommy, Courtney and Eddie.
One friend said: “Fond memories of Gaz. Love and hugs and deepest condolences to you all.”
Another said: “Such devastating news, there are no words.”
Emma has previously shared a post about the missing sheepdog on January 11 on the nearby common land.
The condition of the dog now is unknown.
After the hearing local councillor Donald Jenkins said: “It is a terrible tragedy because he was such a young fella. It is awful for his wife and family.”