On this day in 1991, 18-year-old hunt saboteur Mike Hill was deliberately run over and killed during a meet of the Cheshire Beagles.
His death came about at the end of the day’s hunting, when huntsman Allan Summersgill, with no kill under his belt, boxed up the hounds in a small blue trailer being towed by a pick-up truck. Mike and two fellow Merseyside sabs jumped onto the back of the truck in order to prevent the huntsman from driving to another location to continue hunting. Summersgill sped off down winding country roads for five miles with the terrified sabs clinging onto the back. It is thought that Mike jumped from the pick-up as it slowed to take a bend. He failed to clear the truck and was crushed between the truck and the trailer. Mike died on the spot.
Despite the thud of Mike’s body and the screams of the other sabs, the heartless huntsman continued driving for a further mile. The truck only halted when one of the sabs smashed the rear window of the cab. The sab was hit with a whip as he tried to stop the truck. Once it had stopped one sab ran back to Mike’s prone body while the other ran to a nearby house to call for an ambulance. Summersgill drove off, later turning himself in at a police station. Despite the details of the case, an inquest improbably arrived at a verdict of “Accidental Death”; no charges were ever brought against Summersgill.
RIP warrior Mike Hill, the first hunt saboteur to be killed while trying to protect wildlife.
Read Keith Mann’s description of the events in an excerpt from his book “From Dusk ’til Dawn” (2007):