A woman has died after being trampled to death by a cow. Marian Clode was walking along a public bridlepath in Belford, Northumberland with her family on 3 April, when they were charged at by a herd of cattle.
The 61-year-old was on a short Easter break with her husband Chris, daughter Lucy Rowe and son-in-law Kevin at the time of the incident. Recalling the horrific scenes, her husband described how they were approached by a herd of cattle which suddenly attacked.
"I could see the cows at the top of the hill, I could see they were really running fast, clearly at speed," Chris told Sky News. "The most horrible thing of all is I couldn't see Marian. I could see this animal and it was scraping his paws and it was so sinister it was unbelievable. I will never forget the sight of that cow, like a bull fight, matador."
Lucy said: "It charged at her a third time, it flipped my mum like a rag doll over the fence into the next fence. My mum went blue when I looked, the cows were staring at me, her lips went blue. I was screaming her name."
An ambulance was called and paramedics attempted to resuscitate the mother-of-three, who was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. However, she was thrown with such ferocity that she had suffered a broken neck and died as a result of her injuries two days later.
"The consultant said the injuries that my mum sustained were the worst they had ever seen, equivalent to those of a high-speed crash," explained Lucy. "She did not stand a chance against that animal."
The family is urging the public to be more aware of the dangers posed by cows and their young calves. "Farmers should know it's the time of the year when cattle are with their calves and it could be dangerous and they have to look after the public," said Chris.
"My life has gone now, here is someone who was very fit, nothing is going to be the same ever again, it's just traumatic, so sad and silly, and totally ridiculous that this has happened, it could happen to anyone. We all go on walks, you don't expect to finish up in this situation and this should never happen to anyone again."
The Clode family is taking legal advice and has spoken out to warn the public about the dangers posed by cows and their young calves. Gordon Cartwright of JMW Solicitors, acting on the family's behalf, told Mail online: 'Their principal reason for speaking out at what is a terribly distressing time is that they want to prevent other families going through such a traumatic experience.'
The incident has been passed over to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has confirmed that it has launched an investigation.
An NFU North East spokeswoman said: "We are unable to comment on individual cases, but of course this is a tragic incident and our sympathies are with all those affected. Such events are thankfully very rare, given the thousands of walkers who enjoy the countryside every year.
"It's important that both farmers and walkers are aware of possible risks from livestock and the precautions that can be taken to reduce the chances of a problem. We encourage people to follow the advice from the NFU and organisations such as The Kennel Club, The Ramblers and the Countryside Code."
There have been 74 fatalities involving cattle recorded since 2000, but very little warning to the public of the dangers of approaching cattle. In comparison, dangerous dogs have killed 17 people in the last eight years.