Popular worker, 25, killed by HGV as he crossed Sheffield street in ‘tragic accident’

An inquest into the death of a 25-year-old man who was killed when he collided with a HGV vehicle in which he had been working died as a result of a tragic accident, an inquest in Sheffield has found.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:48 pm

Joseph (Joe) William Siverns, of Rotherham, died on May 3, 2019, when an HGV vehicle he had just disembarked from collided with him as he walked alongside it. Its driver was pulling into a parking space on Catley Road, Darnall.

Joe and the driver, Graham Croft, had both been working in the 32-tonne tipper truck and had stopped on Catley Road so Joe could get his lunch from the cafe there.

Assistant coroner Abigail Combes heard that Mr Croft had explained where he was going to park while he waited for Joe.

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Police tape is pictured (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

However when he was manouvering into the space he collided with his colleague, who was trying to cross the road in front of the moving vehicle having walked alongside it.

Speaking at the inquest, Mr Croft, and HGV driver of 32 years, said: “I told Joe I was going to reverse into the space on the other side of the road once the traffic had stopped.

Mr Croft added that he knew Joe was going to cross the road but thought he was waiting for him to have pulled away before he tried to do that.

Once he had checked his mirrors Mr Croft pulled out into the middle of the road. It was at this point that the front of the truck, which CCTV showed was travelling at walking pace, hit Joe.

Mr Croft told the court he did not feel the impact.

He said: “I went forward and came to a stand still in the middle. I then had to reverse [into the parking space]. When I saw Joe in the road as I reversed back I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

After he called the emergency services Mr Croft was tested for drugs and alcohol and the tests came back negative.

At the inquest forensic collision investigator Richard Roberts said that Mr Croft would not have been able to stop the HGV in time to prevent it from colliding with Joe even if he had seen him in the close proximity mirror which covered the blind spot at the front of the vehicle.

Mike Senior, another forensic collision investigator, and PC Shaun Morris, who investigated the incident, said that Mr Croft could have seen Joe walking towards the front of the vehicle in the mirror that covered the curbside in close proximity to the passenger side of the truck.

The inquest also heard that as somebody who was trained to work alongside HGVs, Joe would have been aware of the dangers of walking alongside and in front of a vehicle of that size as its driver was manouvering into a parking space.

Joe’s mother Theresa Siverns told the inquest: “We never wanted to blame anybody. This is about Joe and not about blame.”

Mr Croft added: “I had known Joe for about 10 months since he started. I got on with him very well. He was a quiet lad but always pleasant, and I considered him a friend.”

Ms Combes found that Joe died from multiple traumatic injuries, and that his death was accidental.