Tree fall man impaled

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A TRUCK driver bled to death after falling onto a spiked metal fence while cutting trees in a friend’s garden, an inquest was told.

Andrew Jackson was impaled through both thighs, causing deep wounds and severe blood loss.

The 46-year-old, of Sheffield Road, Hepworth, had experience cutting trees in his own garden and was helping Neil Gwynne - a long-standing friend - tidy the garden at his home in Midland Road, Royston, Barnsley.

Mr Gwynne told the inquest, at Sheffield’s Medico Legal Centre, how the tragedy unfolded last March.

He said: “We chopped a conifer then I spoke about a branch from another tree which was obscuring the light. We got ladders which we roped to the tree and I held the bottom, then Andrew cut on the lower, then top side, of the branch.

“It broke, catapulting towards the ladder.

“I ended up on the floor and the ladder was bent in half.

“I stood up and shouted for Andrew but couldn’t see him.

“He replied ‘I’m here, get me an ambulance’.

“I realised he was impaled on the fence, which was about six feet high.”

Mr Gwynne dialled 999 on his mobile phone and tried to support his friend in his position. Neighbour Ada Montgomery, a nurse, was out in her garden when heard Mr Gwynne calling out urgently to Andrew.

She said: “I came over and used a stepladder to reach Andrew. I saw his injuries.

“As a nurse, I felt it was arterial bleeding. He was in shock.”

As Andrew deteriorated, Ms Montgomery attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions “with difficulty” due to his position.

Mr Gwynne said a fire engine arrived first to try to cut Andrew free, followed by air and road ambulances. “It seemed to take a long while for the ambulance to arrive,” he said.

Ms Montgomery said that, due to the injuries, emergency services needed to be there “as quickly as possible” with blood supplies, to compensate for that lost.

“The air ambulance did not have a blood line and the road ambulance didn’t seem to have one,” she said.

Andrew was lifted from the fence - rather than cut free - and taken to hospital by road ambulance but could not be revived.

A post mortem examination found he died from hypovolemic shock caused by blood loss.

The inquest heard the ambulance had to access the scene of the incident from neighbouring Royston Park and had difficulty entering. A further delay was due to locked gates around the bowling green area directly behind Mr Gwynne’s house, which had to be cut open. The inquest heard the road ambulance arrived at the scene in around 11 minutes.

Assistant Deputy Coroner David Urpeth recorded a verdict of death by misadventure. He said: “It’s clear the tree cutting was embarked upon with a great amount of care.

“Unfortunately, when the branch fell, it knocked the ladder. After the incident, Andrew’s friend and the neighbour, as well as the emergency services, did all they could to help.”

Following the verdict, Andrew’s partner, Josephine Beckett, said: “I’m satisfied with the outcome.”