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Inquest hears construction worker died after becoming trapped between a lorry and dumper truck

PUBLISHED: 18:20 11 February 2019

The King's Centre where Norfolk Coroner's Court is currently based. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

The King's Centre where Norfolk Coroner's Court is currently based. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Archant

An inquest into the death of a 47-year-old grounds worker who died when he became trapped between a dumper truck and a lorry has heard evidence from the drivers of both vehicles.

Jason Hickman had been trying to connect a tow chain between the 26-tonne lorry which had become stuck and the dumper truck at a site in Watlington, west Norfolk when the dumper truck driver’s foot slipped off the brake causing the vehicle to “lurch backwards”.

Mr Hickman died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

At an inquest into his death at Norfolk Coroner’s Court on Monday, the court heard evidence from Peter Easter, the driver of the Jewson lorry and Dale Anderson, a colleague of Mr Hickman’s who has been driving the dumper truck at the time of the incident.

Mr Easter, told the court on December 14, 2017, he had arrived at the Watlington site at around 11.10am to deliver 10 bulk bags.

Giving evidence Mr Easter said he drove onto the site assisted by Dale Anderson and it was after the unloading while trying to leave the site the vehicle became stuck in mud.

Mr Easter said after getting out of the lorry he told Mr Anderson that he would call the Jewson office to arrange vehicle recovery but that it was suggested the lorry could be pulled out of the mud by a dumper truck.

Mr Easter said: “I was standing at the back of the lorry trying to get hold of [the office] when next thing I realised there was a dumper reversing into the back of my lorry.”

Mr Easter said he was asked if he carried chains on his vehicle to which he said no and it was then that Mr Hickman appeared with a tow chain.

He said: “Mr Hickman arrived with some chains and the dumper truck reversed to the lorry about a metre away. Mr Hickman attached the chain at the back, bending down he asked the [dumper truck] to back up a little bit.

“I don’t know what happened but the dumper just shot back, and I saw Mr Hickman fall between the two lorries,” he said.

Mr Anderson who was been in the cab of the dumper truck said: “I got into the dumper, started it up with my foot on the brake, released the hand break, put it into reverse and as I turned around to see where I was going my foot slipped off the brake,” he said.

The inquest has been adjourned.

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