Inquest rules death of David Holloway on a Colchester building site was an accident

David Holloway with fiancee Nicky McCloy

David Holloway with fiancee Nicky McCloy - Credit: Archant

A construction worker killed by a falling cage died in an accident, an inquest has ruled.

Essex Police cordon off the entrance to the construction site at King Edward Quay in Hythe after Dav

Essex Police cordon off the entrance to the construction site at King Edward Quay in Hythe after David Holloway was killed. - Credit: Archant/Su Anderson

A jury at the Essex Coroner’s Court yesterday unanimously returned the verdict into the death of David Holloway, the only option given to them by coroner Eleanor McGann following a three-day inquest.

David, 35, was a slinger banksman responsible for attaching items to the crane at a building site at King Edward Quay, in the Hythe, Colchester.

A metal piling cage slipped off two of the hooks, causing another cage to fall and crush rugby fan David at 8.30am on January 8 last year – just his third day on site.

Co-workers rushed to lift the cage off of him, but David was pronounced dead at the scene.

Memorial bench to David Holloway

Memorial bench to David Holloway - Credit: Archant


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Nobody directly saw what happened and it remains unclear what caused the cage to slip.

Speaking after the inquest David’s fiancée Nicky McCloy said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to learn as much of the truth as is possible surrounding the death. This does afford me some closure.

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“I agree this was a tragic accident and only hope that, if nothing else, this type of accident can be avoided in future.

“I want to express my gratitude for the thoroughness, professionalism and empathy displayed by the coroner and her staff. More importantly, to express my deep thanks to all those that tried everything they could to save Dave’s life on the morning of this accident.

“Lastly for all those friends and colleagues who donated money following Dave’s death, I have placed a bench in his memory in Cudmore Grove, East Mersea. I thank you all for your kindness, genorosity and the support you have given to me and the family.”

The couple were due to get married in November last year, 11 months after the accident.

Joy and Jim Holloway, David’s parents, said in place of the wedding ceremony in Ms McCloy’s native South Africa David’s ashes were spread at the chapel where the wedding was due to be held and at the locations of the couple’s planned honeymoon.

David had moved to the UK from Christchurch, New Zealand, four years before the accident, deciding to stay after the tyre factory he worked in at home closed down while he was in England for a friend’s wedding.

He moved into a new house with Ms McCloy just three weeks’ prior to the accident, and his father said David had been excited to start at the new site as it was close to his home.

Mrs Holloway said: “He was a lovely person. We had a memorial for him at home, and so many of his friends had known him since their church youth group.

“He had a very dry sense of humour.

“We miss him every day.

“David was meticulous about health and safety, he did not cut corners, I do not believe he did that load, it was not in his nature.”

Mr Holloway added: “David was a very generous person, and we found out at his memorial how much of his time he had given up. If somebody needed to be taken somewhere, or needed help, he would take or help them.

“He enjoyed a few beers after rugby, was quick-witted, and never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

“When the coroner said at the end of the inquest that she hoped we could focus on the good memories, all I could think was how much I miss him – but we do have lots of good memories.

“The people of Colchester are very generous and compassionate when we are here. Everyone has been really nice.

“I wish no other parent has to go through what we have had to.”

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