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John Clabburn, Aussie TV director, dies after hedge trimming accident

Kristine Tarbert
·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

Aussie TV director John Clabburn has tragically died after suffering catastrophic injuries from an accident with a hedge trimmer in his garden on Sydney's north shore.

NSW Ambulance paramedics were called an Artarmon property on Tuesday afternoon where they found a critically injured man in his 50s with severe cuts to his arm.

TV director John Clabburn
Aussie TV director John Clabburn has tragically died. Photo: Facebook

"The patient had lost a large amount of blood. Paramedics worked to stabilise him before getting him to hospital," Inspector Carolyn Parish said on Wednesday.

"Paramedic crews did an amazing job in an understandably traumatic and chaotic scene."

Four crews, including the Careflight Rapid Response Rescue Helicopter responded and the man was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

John 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,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

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

The 52-year-old director, who was affectionately known as JC, worked on some of Aussie TV's most iconic shows over the past three decades, including Home And Away, Underbelly, Survivor, LoveChild, The Wiggles and Wonderland. 

home and away
John worked on iconic Aussie TV including Home and Away. Photo: Channel 7

Melissa said she did her best to stem the bleeding with towels but the cut was too severe.

“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 told the publication.

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.

Following the news of John's death, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Denise Roberts, to assist the family that he sadly left behind including his wife and two kids.

Photo: Supplied/Gofundme
John also worked on Survivor. Photo: Supplied/Gofundme

The initial fund goal was $10,000 but since it went live it has already raised more than $30,000.

"Just when things are starting to look up on the project front, JC had a freak accident and passed away almost immediately leaving behind his wife Melissa and his two sons Josh and Lewis to pick up the pieces," Denise wrote.

"This fundraiser is a tribute to a beautiful spirit, with a heart of gold. JC was one of the most loved people in the Screen industry and I for one would like to see his family taken care of at this extremely painful time."

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