Dump truck tragedy ruled as misadventure

| 08/03/2018 | 3 Comments

(CNS): An inquest found that Ester Emelina Scott (66) died as a result of misadventure when she was crushed under the wheels of a 26-foot dump truck in her own yard in East End in April 2016. The jury in the Coroner’s Court returned the verdict Thursday after hearing evidence all day Wednesday from police, traffic investigators, re-constructionists, medical personnel and others, including the dump truck driver. The local woman was killed when she appeared to have lost her footing by the truck which had just delivered a marl load to her home.

With no eyewitnesses to see exactly what happened, the inquest was not able to answer how Scott came to be so close to the moving truck and fall under as it pulled out of her yard. But the evidence appeared to indicate that Scott had fallen at the wrong time and in the wrong place, leading to the tragic freak accident.

The jury heard how the dump truck driver, who was not under the influence of drink or drugs, had delivered the load to Scott’s house on John McLean Drive near the junction of Farm Road at around 5pm on 19 April 2016, and that she had signed and paid for the load several feet away from the truck, which had reversed into her yard to deliver the load.

The driveway was described as being rough, rocky and slopping towards the road. In his statement, the driver told police that after Scott had signed for the load, he had told her to stay where she was as he was going to pull out of the drive. He then got into the truck, checked everything was safe with the truck box and then pulled the break to roll down towards the roadway.

Moments after he pulled away from where he had delivered the load and was looking for traffic in anticipation of pulling on to John McLean Drive, he felt the truck bump over something.

He said that he immediately stopped the vehicle and got out. Walking to the rear of the truck he spotted Scott under the wheels of his vehicle. Unable to understand how she had got there, he said he was shocked and alarmed as he had cried out in disbelief.

The driver said it was extremely upsetting as he had done nothing wrong and had been very careful. He said that he still could not understand why she had moved towards the truck after he left her a safe distance away.

The emergency services were called and Scott was taken to hospital but she had sustained multiple serious crush wounds and fractures, and despite the efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead almost as she arrived.

Investigations led to the conclusion that the driver, who had a clean licence and had never been in an accident after 20 years as a heavy vehicle driver, was not at fault and had not hit Scott. He was arrested at the time of the accident but was never charged, given the evidence of the reconstruction experts.

Tyre marks and footprints indicated that Scott moved from the safe spot where she had signed for the marl load towards the right side of the truck, where she appeared to have stumbled and fallen under the truck and was run over by the rear wheels.

The court also heard that although the victim had no life-threatening conditions and was in good health, she had poor vision in both eyes and was also suffering from a pain in her knee, which caused her to use a brace and walk with a limp.

Given the choice of finding an open verdict in the case or death by misadventure, the jurors concluded it was a case of misadventure.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The jury got it right with this outcome. Very unfortunate and tragic indeed. RIP to the lady and I also feel for the driver who is likely still haunted by this freak accident.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Friggin horrible for both sides. Nothing anyone can do but move on.

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