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Tears flow for 'larrikin' killed in shed accident

Doug Smith.
Doug Smith. Simon Young

AN OLD-SCHOOL larrikin who always kept his cool is how Doug Smith has been remembered by friends and loved ones.

The 65-year-old Bundaberg man was killed on Tuesday in a tragic accident involving a skid-steer loader.

Emergency services rushed to a unit block on Avoca St about 5.30pm, where Mr Smith had been working in a shed.

It is understood he was found under the bucket of the machine he was working near.

Paramedics were called to the scene but he could not be revived.

Those who knew Mr Smith have been left shocked by his death.

Friend Andrew Arnel said he had once worked at Warburton Caravans Jayco with Mr Smith who was in charge of quality control and training.

"He was a bit of a known legend in the caravan world," Mr Arnel said.

"He had been around for so long and knew so much - he was the bloke who taught me what I know and is why I am where I am today."

Mr Arnel said Mr Smith had an infectious personality.

"He was definitely a larrikin, like a proper, old-school Aussie larrikin," he said.

"He was always very cool, calm and collected.

"I probably will never meet anyone else like him."

Mr Arnel said Mr Smith would be greatly missed by many in the community.

"He had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone, it's a very sad loss," he said.

A Queensland Police media spokesman said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and it had been ruled out as a workplace incident.

A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokesman said Mr Smith was working with a skid-steer loader at his home when the tragic accident unfolded.

"After making inquiries and attending site, WHSQ will not be investigating the death of a man at Bundaberg," the spokesman said.

"Inspectors have spoken with QPS and the man's former employer and established this incident is not work related, even though it involves a bobcat."

Neighbour tells of heartbreak 

The neighbour of Doug Smith has told of his shocking and sudden death at his Avoca St property on Tuesday.

Patricia Emerson said she was just arriving home from work when she saw emergency services surrounding Mr Smith's shed, which was situated at the back of a unit complex in West Bundaberg.

"I had just got home and the ambulance was there," she said.

"The next minute the fireys came down and then the police and that's when I knew there was something seriously wrong."

Ms Emerson said Mr Smith's death had shocked their little community on Avoca St.

"I've been neighbours with Doug for quite a few years," she said.

"He had a big house down the end of my unit block.

"This has all been very much of a shock."

Ms Emerson paid tribute to Mr Smith and said the popular Bundaberg man liked to keep busy and spent a lot of his time tinkering in his shed.

"He was just the type of bloke that would do anything for you," she said.

"Doug didn't have a bad word to say about anybody.

"He was very well-liked."
 

Topics:  accident bobcat bundaberg death editors picks tribute



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