Guest fell to death through cellar door

A HOTEL guest plunged to his death after mistaking a cellar door for an exit, an inquest has heard. Edward Tollidaywas staying at the Park Hotel in Wivenhoe when he fell down 12 wooden stairs and was knocked unconscious.

A HOTEL guest plunged to his death after mistaking a cellar door for an exit, an inquest has heard.

Edward Tollidaywas staying at the Park Hotel in Wivenhoe when he fell down 12 wooden stairs and was knocked unconscious.

Colchester Coroner's Court heard that the former driver from Birmingham had stayed as a guest at the hotel previously.

Patricia Almond, who runs the hotel, told the inquest that the keys to the cellar door had been left in the lock.


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She said Mr Tolliday, 55, who did have keys for an exit door, had been going out of the building when the accident happened on June 11 last year.

“I was coming down the stairs and I had a word with him because he had left the door unlocked, I walked into the bar and I heard the keys rattle.

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“I shouted that is the cellar Eddy and then I heard 'crash, bang, wallop', and he was gone.

“As soon as I heard the crash I went down and yelled up to call for an ambulance.”

Eric Ryder, Mr Tolliday's brother-in-law, said they had been out drinking together the previous day and said Mr Tolliday seemed to be ok.

Colchester Borough Council's environmental health team inspected the hotel after the accident and recommended the lock should be changed to a Yale one instead, although no legal action was taken against the hotel.

The inquest was also told Mr Tolliday was unlikely to have used the cellar door by accident.

Mr Tolliday was rushed to Colchester General Hospital before being transferred to London's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery but died on June 18.

A post mortem showed Mr Tolliday had heart disease but died from head injuries and Coroner Chinyere Inyama recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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