An agricultural worker from Beaworthy was killed when a tractor left a narrow country lane and struck a raised drain gully.

Todd Riggs was flung from the cab by the collision but was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown under the wheels of the trailer he was towing.

His death led his young farmer friends to start a campaign to get more farmers to wear seat belts when driving tractors.

Their campaign video for #BuckleUpForIceman – a tribute to Todd’s nickname – to take safety more seriously has been shared worldwide.

Todd, aged 33, of Holsworthy Road, Beaworthy, was an experienced and competent farm worker who had been driving tractors since he was just 10 years old.

An inquest heard on Monday how Todd was driving down a hill along an unclassified lane towing an empty trailer when the incident happened and it jack-knifed.

The inquest at Exeter’s County Hall was told he was working for a friend, Dean Millman, an agricultural contractor, doing some harvesting work in July 2017.

He said Todd was transporting grass with a new Holland tractor and trailer back to a farm between Beaworthy and Shebbear.

Mr Millman said there was raised well gully along the lane which could not be seen driving down the hill and there was no plastic reflector showing where it was.

He said grass covered the entrance to the gully, hiding it from view.

Senior Devon coroner Philip Spinney said it appeared the offside of the tractor left the narrow tarmac carriageway and ‘struck an obstacle’.

He said road markings showed that the tractor flew around four metres in the air and Todd was ejected from the cab.

Mr Spinney said: “It appears that Todd was not wearing a seat belt at the time.”

He said had he been wearing one he may not have been ejected from the cab.

But the force of the collision led to him being thrown from the cab of the tractor and he was trapped beneath the front wheels of the empty twin axle trailer he was towing.

He died from multiple wounds at the scene and the coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Representatives from Devon County Council said a concrete lump obstacle had been moved and the hole filled following the tragedy.

The coroner told Todd’s family that ‘it did play a part in this’ and Todd’s mother Pamela said “We would not like something like this to happen to anyone else.”

Mrs Riggs, from Holsworthy, said her eldest son was just 10 years old when he first drove a small tractor on farmland.

She said he was ‘well known and well respected’ and her son’s life was farming.