A tree surgeon who quit his office job to pursue his dream career died when he accidentally cut through his own safety rope, an inquest heard.
Daniel Edwards plummeted 40 feet from a monkey puzzle tree after cutting through the rope as he pruned it, the inquest was told.
He was part of a team of four working on the towering tree and had set up his own harness and rope before climbing to the top.
As he cut away dead branches from the tree, the 29-year-old slipped and sliced through the safety rope, screaming as he fell to his death.
Winchester Coroners’ Court, Hants, heard Mr Edwards had quit his job as an office worker to take up a dream job as a tree surgeon with Hampton Tree Care.
Senior coroner Grahame Short concluded that Mr Edwards death was the result of a “tragic” accident. Speaking after the inquest, Mr Edwards’ father Richard said he was ‘proud’ of his son, who had quit his career to take up his dream job.
He said: “Daniel was a ray of sunshine who could light up a room.
“He had previously quit his office job with the support of his wife, Joanne, to become a tree surgeon – a job he loved.
“Not many people could say that they looked forward to Monday morning but he did. We are so proud of him and everything he did.”
Mr Edwards’ wife Joanne added: “Dan loved his job and was truly content when working up in a tree.
“He was my soulmate and I will miss him more than any words can say. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been part of his happy and full life.”
The company had been asked to remove dead wood from the towering monkey puzzle tree in the small village of Shedfield near Eastleigh, Hants, on September 18 last year.
Kieron Standen, who was also working on the tree, told the inquest Mr Edwards had set up his own safety equipment that day, but had discussed the risks with his boss Robert Hampton beforehand.
Mr Standen added: “Mr Hampton is very safety concious and always updates the equipment to make sure it was in good working order.”
Despite paramedics best efforts, Mr Edwards, of Chandler’s Ford near Southampton, Hants, was pronounced dead at the scene, having suffered significant internal injuries to his chest and brain.
Health and safety inspector Michael Baxter, who investigated the accident, said the evidence suggested Mr Edwards had slipped while attempting to cut through thick vegetation at the top of the tree.
As he did so, Mr Baxter said the tree surgeon had accidentally cut through his own safety rope, causing him to fall 40ft to the ground.