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Misuse of anti-theft device causes death

28th March 1996, Page 9
28th March 1996
Page 9
Page 9, 28th March 1996 — Misuse of anti-theft device causes death
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A lorry driver was crushed to death under the wheels of a 17-tonne tipper when he disabled its antitheft device, an inquest heard.

John Malcolm Crossfield, 56, of Stocks Lane, Luddenden, Halifax, died when his Ford Cargo tipper rolled forward and trapped him under its rear wheels last December.

Bradford Coroners Court heard that builders and contractors Oldfield Watson of Hebden Bridge had installed the devices on its vehicles following several thefts.

Thomas Jones, who had asked Crossfield to move the truck, said at first he thought Crossfield had run somebody over but then realised it was his colleague who was trapped. "He was just thrashing about, shouting get it off me, get it off me," he said. Crossfield was taken to hospital but died later that day from multiple injuries.

Coroner James Turnbull said it had been a simple and safe device when operated in the correct sequence. Crossfield should not have released the handbrake before switching the device off and Turnbull said it was a mystery why such a conscientious driver had done that.

The jury returned a verdict of death due to an industrial accident.

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