Workman electrocuted in lorry accident

A “LOVEABLE rogue” died when the crane on his lorry brought down high voltage overhead wires and electrocuted him, an inquest heard. Stephen Mayho was delivering a flat-pack log cabin to a house in the village of Chappel, near Colchester, when the accident happened in July last year.

A “LOVEABLE rogue” died when the crane on his lorry brought down high voltage overhead wires and electrocuted him, an inquest heard.

Stephen Mayho was delivering a flat-pack log cabin to a house in the village of Chappel, near Colchester, when the accident happened in July last year.

The 50-year-old from St Osyth had been told by his bosses at D.W. Clark and Sons the cabin should only be removed by hand from the lorry, needing help from a second person.

But a jury inquest at Chelmsford Coroner's Court yesterday heard the father-of-four used the crane on the back of the 30-tonne DAF lorry to lift the packaging, possibly in a bid to save time.


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The arm of the crane then struck overhead power cables, throwing Mr Mayho on to one of the vehicle's stabilising support legs.

He was rushed to Colchester General Hospital by the air ambulance, but was declared dead a short time later.

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The jury heard Mr Mayho was not familiar with the lorry, but had been asked to do the job because the regular driver was not available on July 3 last year.

Martin Bishop was taking delivery of the log cabin at his home at Chappel Hill and told the inquest he became concerned when Mr Mayho parked directly underneath the power cables, which were 6.2 metres above the ground.

He said: “Even before he got out of the cab, I pointed out the wires and said it was dangerous but he said he used to work on loft conversions and was used to getting large poles through small gaps between wires.

“I pointed out they were not ordinary cables but, for whatever reason, he didn't really seem interested or want to know.”

Mr Bishop said he was worried as Mr Mayho was struggling with the crane, which was operated from the side of the lorry.

“I shouted loudly, 'mind those wires' - I got the impression he did not know what he was doing, but when he looked up and saw the wires, I felt more comfortable,” he said.

But when Mr Bishop turned away he heard Mr Mayho yelling and saw him thrown away from the controls and on to one of the support legs.

Mr Bishop attempted to revive him through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which he continued until the air ambulance arrived.

The lorry's normal driver, Peter Mundy, said there had been three warning stickers on the vehicle, highlighting the dangers of overhead power cables.

Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray directed the jury of 10 to return a verdict of accidental death.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Mayho's son, Stephen , 23, admitted his father was a “chancer”.

He said: “He was a loveable rogue. There are no hard feelings, it was a general accident.”

He said his father, who had three other children, Donna, Sarah and John, was passionate about cars and loved buying and working on them.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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