Monday, January 7, 2008

Teenager died as he tried to stop runaway lorry

Teenager died as he tried to stop runaway lorry.(News)

A teenager was crushed to death as he tried to stop a runaway lorry.

Justin Bevan, 17, was helping his elder brother unload a trailer when the lorry started to roll down a steep hill.

Justin ran alongside the lorry trying to get into the cab - but was crushed as it collided with another lorry parked at the roadside.

An inquest heard yesterday that defective brakes on the lorry meant it was a 'ticking bomb'. Its trailer had no brakes at all.

The lorry had been borrowed by construction worker Simon Bevan to move a digger.

Department of Transport vehicle examiner Christopher Ennea said, 'The vehicle was unroadworthy and its brakes were below the minimum requirement. It resulted in the vehicle and trailer combination becoming dangerous when parked on any slope.'

PC Christopher Goddard, the police forensic collision investigator, said, 'The vehicle was a ticking bomb. The only working brake was the handbrake on the rear axle of the lorry.'

The seven-and-a-half-ton Ford jackknifed, rolling for more than 120ft in Hollybush, near Blackwood, Gwent.

The inquest, in Newport, heard that Justin's elder brother Simon borrowed the trailer to carry a digger to make trenches. But he had no formal training in how to unload the JCB.

Justin's father Howard told the inquest the lorry started to roll downhill as they moved the digger.

He said, 'Simon had got into the digger and started the engine to drive it off the trailer.

'That's when the lorry, trailer and the digger started to go down the hill. I didn't see the accident but Justin was running alongside the lorry. I believe he was trying to get into the cab to stop it travelling further down the hill.'

Mr Bevan, of Argoed, Gwent, said Justin started walking back up the hill holding his stomach but then fell to the floor. He was taken to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny but died from internal bleeding.

Gwent coroner David Bowen recorded a verdict of accident.

He said, 'There is no evidence Simon knew the brakes on the lorry were defective but he should have known the trailer had no brakes at all.

'Even if not, it would be a basic safety measure to unload the JCB on a level surface or chock the wheels. Any one of these measures would have prevented this tragic and unnecessary death. '

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