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Accident verdict over dock death driver
8:00am Saturday 5th May 2012 in News
A MAN was killed when his lorry rolled away from its parking spot and knocked him over, before hitting two parked trailers, causing one to collapse on the felled driver.
Peter Hunt, a 68-year-old driver from Southampton, had forgotten to engage the parking-break of his Iveco cab, which then moved from its parking bay at Tilbury Docks.
The jury at an inquest in Chelmsford recorded a verdict of accidental death after hearing that Mr Hunt, a semi-retired lorry driver, had failed to secure the cab by pulling the parking break.
He then got out the cab, hooked a trailer to it and released the parking-break on the trailer, too.
At approximately 9.30pm on October 26 last year, the combo then rolled down a gentle decline in the road, knocking Mr Hunt to the ground as he attempted to stop the slow moving lorry.
The vehicle went on to hit two trailers parked in neighbouring bays, causing one to collapse from its legs on top of Mr Hunt. He suffered head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The foreman of the jury recorded a verdict of accidental death, under the direction of coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray, after hearing that Mr Hunt, who was working as an agent for Meachers Global Logistics, was collecting a batch of paper roles for UK delivery from a warehouse at the Tilbury Enterprise Distribution centre.
Sergeant Richard Raker, from the forensic road specialist unit at Essex police, who carried out an investigation soon after the accident, said: “Peter Hunt was an experienced driver of 30 years. Somehow he forgot or chose not to apply the handbrake in the cab.
“Whilst attempting to stop the cabin rolling forward, he was unaware of the trailer parked behind him.
“The parked trailer was pushed sideways by the front of the lorry’s trailer, causing it to fall from it’s supporting legs on top of him.”
Sgt Raker said that Mr Hunt had not engaged the parking break of the lorry, despite a warning chime ringing in the cabin when the door was opened.