Failure to apply brake caused death

A LORRY driver who died under the wheels of his runaway vehicle had failed to apply the parking brake, an inquest heard.Andrew Bone, 29, of Carraways, Witham, was delivering scaffolding to a site in London when his lorry began rolling towards rush-hour traffic.

A LORRY driver who died under the wheels of his runaway vehicle had failed to apply the parking brake, an inquest heard.

Andrew Bone, 29, of Carraways, Witham, was delivering scaffolding to a site in London when his lorry began rolling towards rush-hour traffic.

Mr Bone, who was employed by Essex-based Pole Position, died from multiple injuries in The Strand on July 23 last year while trying to stop the fully loaded Mercedes lorry careering into the path of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Westminster coroner Dr Paul Knapman, who had ordered a police investigation into the vehicle's condition, recorded a verdict of accidental death at the inquest yesterday after deciding Mr Bone's error was to blame.


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“The death was caused by Mr Bone not putting the parking brake on. It is as tragic as that. If the family were looking for negligence by other people, that has not been forthcoming,” he said.

“On the evidence we have it does seem the most likely explanation that the parking brake was not applied.”

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Mr Bone was seen by fellow workers running alongside the lorry trying unsuccessfully to reapply the trailer brake, then trying to disconnect a vital braking airline before the lorry suddenly jack-knifed, crushing him under the wheels.

His death left widow Cheryl to raise their four-year-old daughter Kelsey and a second child born eight months after Mr Bone was killed.

The inquest had heard from scaffolder Bradley Whitnell, from Bow, east London, who had helped Mr Bone disconnect the trailer brake by hitting it with an eight-foot length of timber.

“I gave it a clunk and it started rolling. He tried the brake, he pumped it three times and he's running beside the trailer, telling everyone to move back,” he said.

Mr Whitnell revealed the same trailer had suddenly rolled forward two months earlier during a separate job, crashing into two parked black cabs.

Pole Position manager David Lunn, from Chingford, told the inquest the earlier incident had been put down to driver error. He added the vehicle had been checked every six to eight weeks and no defects were found.

Accident investigator Pc William Wright said the handbrake had not been on the lorry when it had been checked after Mr Bone's death.

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Bone said she and his family had been devastated by his death.

Mrs Bone was two months' pregnant at the time of the fatal accident and has since given birth to the couple's second child, Tierney.

“At the end of the day he died trying to save the lives of a lot of people. It would have been his 30th birthday this year. It has been really hard with two children,” she said.

“However, at least I have them - it has helped me cope. He was a wonderful man. His family have been great.”

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