Coffee entrepreneur, 44, died in an accident on a ride-on mower after plunging 3 meters along the river bank

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Coffee entrepreneur, 44, died in a freak accident on a riding mower after plunging 13ft down the river bank after an afternoon of heavy drinking at his cottage

  • Simon Theaker, 44, was the co-founder of the coffee company Black Mountain Roast
  • Was found dead at home in Wales in May 2020 under his riding mower
  • Toxicology reports showed that he had exceeded the drink-driving limit four times

A coffee entrepreneur died in a freak accident on his lawn tractor after an afternoon of drinking, according to a judicial investigation.

Simon Theaker, 44, had exceeded the drink-driving limit four times when he was found dead under the lawn mower at his country house in Cusop, near Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales.

According to an inquest, he had driven the 250kg Honda lawn mower from his family farm to his nearby cottage after drinking alcohol.

He was discovered hours later by his fiancé Karen Divito lying “face down in the river” with the mower on top of him.

Simon Theaker, 44, (pictured) co-founder of Black Mountain Roast Coffee Company was found dead in May 2020 under his ride-on mower at his home in Cusop, near Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales

Police and a trauma helicopter arrived at the scene, but Simon was pronounced dead in May last year.

In a written statement, Mrs. Divito said, ‘I walked around it and then saw the lawn mower in the stream.

My first thought was, “What an idiot – what has he done?”

“I thought he was going to get the Land Rover with the winch to get it out.

‘At one point I realized I could see legs under the mower. After a few seconds it registered that Simon was under the mower.

‘I then ran into the brook and into the water. He lay on his stomach with the mower on his back.

Theaker was discovered hours later by his fiancé Karen Divito when he was lying

Theaker was discovered hours later by his fiancé Karen Divito when he was lying “face down in the river” with the mower on top of him. Pictured: Theaker (left) and his business partner Edward Mungo Leir (right)

“His head was pointed upstream and his right hand out in front of him.”

Toxicology reports showed he had 336 mg of alcohol per deciliter of blood – the legal limit for driving is 80 mg.

Ms. Divito added: ‘When I spoke to him on the day, he was happy in himself and in a good mood. He did not sound intoxicated or unclear words. ‘

The inquest in Pontypridd, South Wales, learned that Simon had spent two hours walking with his father John earlier that day.

His father John described him as someone who was “dependent” on alcohol, but said he “seemed better than his normal self” during the walk.

John said, “He was in a good place on the day of the collision. I had no idea he’d been drinking – I didn’t smoke alcohol with him, and he stood firm on his feet.

His behavior on the day of the accident was normal and he was in a good mood. He could have a conversation and his words were not unclear. ‘

Simon’s mother Ailsa added that her son would not normally have volunteered to mow the lawn while he had been drinking.

Simon died four years after starting his Black Mountain Roast company with business partner Edward Mungo Leir, 44. Pictured: Some of the products sold by the company

Simon died four years after starting his Black Mountain Roast company with business partner Edward Mungo Leir, 44. Pictured: Some of the products sold by the company

A post-mortem study indicated that the cause of death was alcohol toxicity and positional asphyxiation.

The inquest heard that Simon would drink red wine most evenings and had done so for several years.

Coroner Thomas Atherton recorded a claim of death from an accident contributed by alcohol.

He said: “It is more than likely, in my opinion, that because of the amount of alcohol he had taken his judgment in operating the Rider at the critical point at the edge of the lawn and slope that caused the accident.

Edward (pictured) died of a heart attack in 2017 at the age of 48 and Simon continued the business with beans grown in mountainous regions of the Southern Hemisphere.

Edward (pictured) died of a heart attack in 2017 at the age of 48 and Simon continued the business with beans grown in mountainous regions of the Southern Hemisphere.

‘It is more than likely that he misjudged the situation and went over the edge of the lawn and tumbled into the river, the lawn mower also tumbled with him and pushed him into the water.

Simon died four years after starting his Black Mountain Roast company with business partner Edward Mungo Leir, 44.

Edward died of a heart attack in 2017 at the age of 48 and Simon continued the business with beans grown in mountainous regions of the Southern Hemisphere.

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