[May 8, 1874 – Southern Cross] A melancholy accident occurred yesterday forenoon at Mount Albert, which resulted in the death of Mr. George Bray and his father-in-law, Mr. Walton Pell. The unfortunate men, in company with Samuel Bray, a lad about 12 years of age, son of Mr. George Bray, went to the gravel pit on the summit of the mount, for the purpose of procuring scoria ash for which they had a contract to supply the Waitakere Road Board.
Whilst the deceased were filling the dray, the lad noticed that the face of the pit was giving way. He immediately called out, to warn the others, and then ran to make his escape. Owing to the shape of the pit, which has only a narrow entrance that was blocked up by the dray, he had to scramble up a bank about twelve feet in height, and had almost reached the top when the falling gravel struck him, burying him up to the waist, in such a position that he was quite unable to extricate himself.
The slip had completely buried the other two, who were related to him as father and grandfather. The boy states that he heard groaning for about ten minutes after the gravel bank fell. The boy cried out for help, and his appeal was fortunately heard by Mr. Edward Sadgrove, who lives about a quarter of a mile from the spot, and who hastened to the lad’s assistance. He released the boy, who was only slightly injured.
Mr. Edward Allen and others, in response to the calls of Mr. Sadgrove, soon arrived, and proceeded vigorously to rescue Messrs. Bray and Pell. They ultimately found the former in a position which showed that he had been in the act of running when the earth struck, but life was extinct. Poll was shortly afterwards found completely crushed by a large boulder, which was resting on his back.
Dr. Aickin of the Lunatic Asylum, who had been sent for, was promptly on the spot and pronounced life to be extinct in both.
After intelligence was received in Auckland of the accident, Constable Bullen rode out to the scene of the accident and had both bodies conveyed to Mr. Bray’s late residence, where an inquest will be held to today at 2 o’clock. Mr. Bray who was well known and respected throughout the district, was forty five years of age. He leaves a wife and six children. Mr. Pell was aged fifty four.
The pit in which they met their death has for a long time past been considered dangerous to work in, but no steps have been taken in the matter either by the district board or by the Provincial Government authorities.