A man who was crushed between a lorry and a digger and later died told those at the scene, ‘It got me’, moments after his horrific ordeal.
Jurors at the Sheffield inquest into the death of 60-year-old David Evans yesterday heard the final pieces of evidence before they were asked to return their verdict on his death.
Mr Evans, of Shirecliffe Road, Pitsmoor, had been working on an unpaid basis at Bradwell Skip Services in Baker Street, Attercliffe, when the incident happened on April 25 last year.
He died on May 10 of pelvic crush injuries and from a heart issue called aortic stenosis after several operations at Northern General Hospital.
Jurors heard Mr Evans had been working on the vehicle when it began to move and hit him, crushing him between the lorry – which has a maximum weight of 32 tonnes when laden – and a digger in the yard.
Assistant deputy Coroner Julian Fox, summarising evidence, told the court Mr Evans ‘was not in good health’ – he had had a stroke in 1985, he had a history of diabetes, and he had undergone several heart operations in 2002, as well as suffering a problem with his foot.
Driver Craig Jackson told the court he had parked the lorry the night before the incident and applied the handbrake when he parked it and left it in a forward gear.
Mr Fox also told the court in his summary that another driver for the firm, John Steadman, arrived on the day of the incident at about 6.30am and began moving lorries out of the yard.
Mr Steadman put the key in the ignition of the lorry and opened the bonnet to top up the water of the radiator, but did not see Mr Evans.
Another employee, David Cox, arrived at about 6.50am and assumed the open bonnet meant Mr Evans was topping up the water, though he did not speak to him.
The coroner added: “Mr Cox went into the office and, as he did so, he heard the vehicle start up and heard the crunching of metal.
“He did not say and was not asked if there was a delay between the engine starting and the crunching noise.
“He ran to the window and saw the lorry moving.
“He heard Mr Evans shout and, as the lorry continued to move, saw him lying on the ground.
“He phoned for an ambulance and watched as John Steadman and Richard Evans, who had just arrived, tended to David.”
John Steadman was in a changing room at the site when he heard the incident, the court was told.
Mr Steadman ran ‘about 60ft’ after David Evans told him there was no-one in the cab, the court heard. He jumped into the cab, applied the brakes and put the handbrake on.
“He went back to see how Mr Evans was and he said in the presence of Richard Evans and John Steadman, ‘It got me’,” Mr Fox added.
The jurors are set to return their verdict today.