Young Duncan Denovan, a contractor for Wellington gasworks, was out shooting rabbits near Stuart Town in mid-western New South Wales on a Thursday evening in 1904 when he came across the body of a man floating in the river.
He secured the body and borrowed a horse, heading to Stuart Town to inform police.
He didn’t arrive until almost midnight, so it was the next morning he set off with the police to the scene of the discovery.
As they were getting close, Denovan galloped ahead, apparently intending to call into his campsite first.
However, he didn’t get far before his horse threw him into a tree, killing him.
Duncan had only recently come to Australia from Scotland.
The coroner returned a finding of “accidental drowning” in the death of drowned man, William Smith.
SOURCES: Molong Argus Friday 9 December 1904 p 5
Wellington Times Thursday 8 December 1904 p 4