First assistant director John Clabburn died in a freak garden accident in Artarmon, Sydney

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Gardener killed in freak accident while trimming hedges near his house is revealed as a former Home and Away and Underbelly star – as his shattered wife reveals how tragedy unfolded

  • Assistant director John Clabburn died after a bizarre garden accident
  • Mr. Clabburn, 52, was trimming hedges when he fell and cut hand on a power tool
  • Paramedics rushed to a street on Sydney’s north coast just after 5pm on Tuesday
  • Clabburn went into cardiac arrest and suffered blood loss from severe rupture
  • Wife Melissa Clabburn said she kept getting towels, but the blood didn’t stop

The man who died in a freak accident pruning his garden hedges is a well-known Australian assistant director on the TV mega series Home and Away and Underbelly.

John Clabburn, 52, was mowing his family’s garden on Smith Road in Artarmon on Sydney’s north coast when he fell ten feet from a tree before cutting his hand off on a cordless garden saw at around 5pm on Tuesday.

Paramedics later discovered that Mr. Clabburn – known as JC by his colleagues – suffered cardiac arrest after losing a large amount of blood from the severe tear.

First Assistant Director John Clabburn, 52, (pictured) was killed when he fell ten feet from a tree before cutting his hand on a cordless garden saw while trimming hedges on Tuesday

First Assistant Director John Clabburn, 52, (pictured) was killed when he fell ten feet from a tree before cutting his hand on a cordless garden saw while trimming hedges on Tuesday

The director had built a successful career spanning more than 30 years, overseeing Home and Away, Underbelly, Survivor, LoveChild, The Wiggles and TV series Wonderland.

The tragic accident devastated his 27-year-old wife, Melissa, who met him on the set of the TV series Heartland, and sons Josh, 23, and Lewis, 21.

Melissa Clabburn, 56, said she can’t believe he’s gone and ‘expected him to get through it’ because the accident happened so quickly, it’s so unreal ‘.

The photographer and mother of two heard a branch break in the kitchen and immediately knew something was wrong.

Emergency services were called to Smith Road (pictured) in Artarmon on Tuesday after Mr Clabburn suffered cardiac arrest and serious injuries from the terrible fall.

Emergency services were called to Smith Road (pictured) in Artarmon on Tuesday after Mr Clabburn suffered cardiac arrest and serious injuries from the terrible fall.

Emergency services were called to Smith Road (pictured) in Artarmon on Tuesday after Mr Clabburn suffered cardiac arrest and serious injuries from the terrible fall.

“All he said was” call an ambulance now. ” John was unflappable and knew how much I hated blood, I can’t take it, he held it together, but I know he would have been in unbelievable pain, ‘she said The Daily Telegraph

Four paramedics and the Careflight Rapid Response Rescue Helicopter team were confronted with ‘traumatic and chaotic scenes’.

“When I went to the backyard, he crawled on his stomach on the floor, there was so much blood, he clamped his torso, I kept getting towels to stop the flow, but the blood didn’t stop.”

Mr Clabburn was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital (pictured) where he later died

Mr Clabburn was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital (pictured) where he later died

Mr Clabburn was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital (pictured) where he later died

Paramedics told Ms. Clabburn that despite her husband looking ‘pink’, he was able to breathe on his own in the ambulance.

“One minute we admired how straight the hedge looked and what a great job he had done, he was so meticulous, he had a great eye for detail, the next moment John was in an ambulance,” said Mrs. Clabburn.

Mr Clabburn was rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital where he later died.

NSW Ambulance Inspector Carolyn Parish praised the paramedics who worked hard to stabilize him after losing a “large amount” of blood.

“The patient had used a power tool while covering up before the medical emergency,” said Detective Parish.

“Paramedic crews have done a great job in an understandably traumatic and chaotic scene.”

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