OAP crushed by falling vehicle

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A strong gust of wind may have caused a freak accident in which a Doncaster pensioner was crushed to death under a car.

Len Chase, aged 69, was welding the chassis of a four-wheel-drive off-roader in his workshop in Littleworth Lane, Rossington, when it fell on top of him.

The semi-retired car body repairer was working alone and had used a forklift truck to raise the car six feet off the ground, when he was killed.

By the time he was found doubled up underneath the Ford Maverick it was too late to save him, a Doncaster inquest heard.

A post-mortem examination showed the grandfather died from traumatic asphyxia due to compression of his chest.

He suffered 18 fractured ribs.

Police accident investigator Gerald Barton said strong winds that day were coming across open fields and the side profile of the Maverick may have acted like a ‘sail’.

“That led me to believe the vehicle had been unseated. It is my opinion the wind may have been sufficient to dislodge the vehicle,” he said.

The hearing was told Mr Chase was working outside on October 10 last year, which was a day of strong winds.

The Maverick was not secured to the forks of the lifting vehicle.

Mr Chase was last seen alive at lunchtime and a customer who visited at 4pm thought no-one was in the workshop, unaware that he was trapped under the car.

His wife, Enid, finally raised the alarm but a friend and police officers who arrived first could not lift the vehicle off him and it was obvious he had died.

Enid said when she went to investigate she found his hand sticking out from beneath the car and called their son, Steve, who asked a friend, James Wallace, to come round.

He could not find a pulse.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Robert Clark said the forklift truck, which had no defects, had a lifting capacity of 2,000 kilograms, 100kg more than the weight of the Maverick.

Coroner Nicola Mundy recorded a conclusion of accidental death.