A man suffered serious injuries and later died when he was attacked by a cow that had escaped from a nearby market, an inquest heard.
Huw Evans, 75, a retired council worker, had been crossing the road in the centre of Whitland, Carmarthenshire, at about 10.15am on November 19 last year.
Llanelli Coroner’s Court heard Mr Evans was confronted by an “extremely agitated” cow that had escaped from Whitland Mart and he sustained multiple injuries.
Mr Evans, described as a beloved father and grandfather, was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff but died there on November 25.
An inquest into his death took place before Paul Bennett, acting senior coroner for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, at Llanelli Town Hall on Wednesday.
It heard that the cow, a brown Limousin breed, escaped while being unloaded from a trailer at Whitland Mart where a livestock market operated by JJ Morris Auctioneers was taking place.
The cow then ran down the main road to the centre of Whitland, a short distance away and attacked Mr Evans despite attempts by people to contain it.
Trains were stopped when the animal made its way onto rail track in the area, before it was put down in a nearby field.
Jurors concluded: “Following an incident which occurred on November 19 2022, on North Road, Whitland, Mr Evans was admitted to University Hospital of Wales Cardiff with injuries sustained from being trampled by a cow which had escaped from Whitland Mart and travelled along a route which did not have a cattle grid installed.
“Mr Evans later died at the hospital on November 25 at 8pm.”
The jury said Mr Evans’ death was caused by pneumonia, multiple rib fractures, trample injuries sustained from a cow, severe mitral regurgitation, renal failure and frailty of old age.
During the inquest, statements were read from witnesses including Paula Wilson, the farmer who owned the cow which was nine years old.
She said the cow “wasn’t distressed” when it was loaded into the transport to the market and had calmly loaded, though had previously been protective of her calves earlier in the year.
Mrs Wilson described how the cow escaped while being unloaded from the vehicle by drovers, people who herd and manage livestock at the market.
The farmer told the inquest she was “very upset” about what had happened to Mr Evans and to the cow, which was shot by police.
Elgan Rees Williams, a drover with 36 years of experience, described how the cow “went wild” as he and colleague Gordon Silwyn George were preparing to unload it.
“She just pushed the gate, bent the gate and flew out,” Mr Williams told the hearing. “She ran out straight for the road. We tried to stop her, there were three or four of us by then.”
Mr Williams described how they followed the cow into Whitland and tried to shut it into the fire station yard but it escaped through a back gate before attacking Mr Evans.
He confirmed he had never experienced a cow acting in that manner in his many years of droving.
The inquest heard Mr George was thrown onto the back of a pick-up truck by the cow as he attempted to stop it from running onto the main road.
Sian Murrow, also a drover, said the cow ran towards the Co-op store in Whitland after escaping from the fire station yard.
“We saw the cow running towards our direction with its head down as if it was going to charge us,” he said.
“We ran back to avoid getting struck by the cow. I saw an elderly man crossing the road. At this point, the male was halfway across the road. I witnessed the cow going towards him.
“I would describe the cow as being large, brown-red. It was in an extremely agitated state from the beginning to end.”
Finley Harrison, from the Health and Safety Executive, said Whitland Mart had been served a formal notice to install a cattle grid following the incident, which it had done.
“There was full cooperation,” Mr Harrison added.
Following Mr Evans’ death, his family issued a tribute through Dyfed-Powys Police.
They said: “Huw was a loved dad, dadcu, brother, uncle and friend to many.
“We would like to thank the community for their support and well wishes while Huw was in hospital and since his passing, we now know how much he will be missed.”