John Alan Le Seelleur, who lived in St Helier and worked in the family oyster business, was using the vehicle on a côtil above Mont des Ormes on 28 May 2020 when both he and the tractor fell from the field into the road – around 4.3 metres below.
A passer-by who found the unconscious Mr Le Seelleur called 999 and he was taken to hospital by ambulance. A CT scan was undertaken but medics, in liaison with the specialist neurological unit in Southampton, deemed that the injury was unsurvivable – with or without surgical intervention – the inquest heard.
He was transferred under sedation to the General Hospital’s Critical Care Unit but died that evening with his parents at his bedside.
Glenn Cleave, a police coroner’s officer with the States police, read out a statement from Detective Sergeant Robert Manners, a forensic-scene examiner, who said that the tractor’s door had been open, with the gearbox in the ‘park’ setting when it was found.
It was concluded that Mr Le Seelleur was more likely to have sustained the main injury outside the tractor and been struck by a metal part of the vehicle after it moved. Mr Cleave also read out statements from two witnesses, who came across the scene of the accident.
In one account, a woman said that as she rounded a corner she spotted a green-and-yellow tractor in the road with its engine making lots of noise. She saw the badly injured Mr Le Seelleur, and told him that help was on the way and called 999, the inquest heard.
The second witness, who knew Mr Le Seelleur and his family, then arrived, turned off the tractor’s engine and told Mr Le Seelleur that an ambulance and his father were on their way.
Both witnesses were praised by Advocate Cyril Whelan, the relief coroner presiding over the inquest, for the way they had acted.
Dr Miklos Perenyei, a consultant pathologist who carried out the post-mortem, said Mr Le Seelleur had sustained a number of head injuries.
He added that a toxicology report indicated there were no substances found in his system apart from the drugs administered by paramedics.
And Dr Paul Hughes, who treated Mr Le Seelleur in hospital, said he was ‘at pains to stress’ to the man’s parents that their son’s initial injuries would have rendered him unconscious and that he would have not been aware of what was happening.
One of the family members who attended the inquest described Mr Seelleur as being ‘much loved and a beautiful person’.