A man who died after accidentally cutting his hand with a cordless hedge trimmer has been identified as a beloved Aussie TV director.
A man who died after accidentally cutting his hand with a cordless hedge trimmer has been identified as a beloved Aussie TV director.

TV stalwart’s horrific gardening death

The family of John Clabburn are mourning the tragic and sudden loss after the Aussie TV director accidentally cut his hand with a motorised hedge trimmer and died.

Mr Clabburn, 52, was trimming his family's garden on Smith Road, Artarmon, in Sydney's northern suburbs, when he accidentally but severely cut his hand with the cordless saw.

The shock of cutting himself caused Mr Clabburn to fall three metres off his ladder and onto the ground below.

Emergency services rushed to the scene just after 5pm on Tuesday to help him, but he was already suffering from cardiac arrest after losing a large amount of blood.

Paramedics were able to stabilise him at the home before rushing him to Royal North Shore Hospital.

He tragically lost his life later that night.

 

John Clabburn on a film set. Picture: Supplied
John Clabburn on a film set. Picture: Supplied

 

Australian television loses a beloved colleague

Mr Clabburn, known as JC by his friends and colleagues, was well known in the Australian TV community as a first assistant director.

Over the past three decades, Mr Clabburn lent his talent to a number of iconic Australian shows.

Mr Clabburn oversaw directing on Home And Away, Underbelly, Survivor, LoveChild, The Wiggles and Wonderland.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Clabburn's wife Melissa said she was still in shock.

"I just can't believe he's gone, I knew it was bad but I expected him to pull through," Mrs Clabburn told the publication.

"I heard a branch break, I was in the kitchen and felt something was wrong, and called out to check he was all right."

Mrs Clabburn said her husband stayed calm and asked her to call an ambulance, knowing she had a phobia of blood.

"He kept it together for me but I know he would have been in incredible pain," she said.

 

John Clabburn is being remembered as a beloved member of the Australian TV industry. Picture: Supplied
John Clabburn is being remembered as a beloved member of the Australian TV industry. Picture: Supplied

 

Mrs Clabburn did her best to stem the bleeding with towels but the cut was too severe.

As she tried to bandage his wound, Mr Clabburn was rolling on the ground and touching his torso.

Still in shock, Ms Clabburn told The Daily Telegraph she was still expecting her husband to turn up back at the family home.

"One minute we were admiring how straight the hedge was looking and what a great job he had done, he was so meticulous, he had a great eye for detail, the next John was in an ambulance," she said.

The couple, who met on the set of the 1994 TV show Heartland, that starred Cate Blanchett and Ernie Dingo, were married for 27 years.

They have two sons together, Josh, 23, and Lewis, 21.

Puberty Blues actress Susan Prior paid tribute to her friend.

The two had worked together on the TV show Les Norton in 2019.

"I can't stop thinking of you today," she wrote.

"Sending all my love to your family, and the multitudes of people you worked with in film and TV as a top class 1st AD.

"You made your job look so easy.

"Lucky to work with you on Les Norton recently. You will be mightily missed by so many people in this industry and beyond."

Originally published as TV stalwart's horrific gardening death


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