Rob Emslie, 47, had worn his deceased canine Sheevah’s dog lead in a noose around his neck on a night out. On his way home he clambered into his 4×4 vehicle and shut the driver’s door without noticing that the end of the lead was still trailing outside the vehicle.
As the plumber reversed the nylon rope became entangled in one of the car’s front wheel axles and the force exerted on the lead snapped Mr Emslie’s neck, killing him instantly.
The accident took place in the early hours of of Monday morning at the Butterfield Road restaurant near the Kragga Kamma nature reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region.
Emslie, who had just bought a new dog to ease his grief over the loss of Sheevah, entered the restaurant with his new mongrel on a three metre lead. According to diners in the restaurant at the time, the dog was particularly well behaved, so Mr Emslie removed the lead and proceeded to enjoy his meal.
As the evening progressed and the wine began to flow, as a joke, he put the lead around his own neck, tying a noose at the end, leaving the remainder of the lead to trail behind him like a tail, which according to a friend he did from time to time as a way of mourning Sheevah.
As the evening drew to an end and ten glasses of wine better off for it, Mr Emslie clambered into the car which is when the tragedy struck.
Carol Atterbury, owner of the Butterfield Road restaurant, was one of the first people to discover the body. She said: “He had about ten glasses of wine and was the last to leave the restaurant at gone midnight on Sunday. We discovered his body the next morning.”
Police captain Stanley Jarvis has confirmed that police are not treating the incident as suspicious.
Not only does this sorry tale highlight the importance of never driving a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol; it also shows that no matter what van insurance cover you decide to buy, you still need to exercise the utmost caution behind the wheel as you never know what lies in wait around the next corner.