Farmer dies before wedding

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 10/08/2014
ANDREW FLINTOFF: The Te Awamutu farmer was killed after being pulled into a piece of farming machinery.
ANDREW FLINTOFF: The Te Awamutu farmer was killed after being pulled into a piece of farming machinery.

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Andrew Flintoff had just celebrated his 40th birthday and was looking forward to his wedding. Now his family is planning a funeral.

The Te Awamutu farmer was killed on Wednesday after being pulled into a piece of farming machinery.

He and his fiancee Laura had been spraying fertiliser at the family farm in between Te Awamutu and Otorohanga.

They had poured urea granules into a tank to dissolve but after one load Andrew told his fiancee to head back into the house because it was raining. She went to have lunch with his parents and her four-year-old son Ashton but after a while Andrew had not come back.

His father John said he would go see where Andrew had got to.

"The next minute he came back and said Andrew was dead," Laura said. "It was awful."

It appeared Andrew had leaned over an exposed Power Take Off, which was attached to a tractor, and been pulled around its drive line.

Laura said the support had been amazing.

"The farming community is very good," she said. "I couldn't thank people enough for their help."

The pair met 18 months ago through a dating website.

"He was a very genuine, a very loving proud person."

Ashton had grown up calling him dad and Andrew had another daughter, nine-year-old Jasmine, from a previous relationship.

Andrew and Laura were getting married in November.

His brother Gregory said he had grown up on the farm and loved his work. But he hoped there might be some lessons about the dangers of the equipment learned.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at the family farm.

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- Sunday Star Times

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