Inquest jury records conclusion of accidental death for grandfather tipped from cherry picker in Felixstowe

Beacon House in Ipswich where the inquest was held. Picture: Jason Noble

Beacon House in Ipswich where the inquest was held. Picture: Jason Noble - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich grandfather who fell from a cherry picker after it was struck by a lorry died as a result of an accident, an inquest has ruled.

Douglas Skinner, 67, of Chesterton Close, Ipswich, died in Addenbrooke’s Hospital on January 25, 2015 two days after an accident at work.

An inquest, which began on Monday, was told Mr Skinner was replacing signs by the entrance at SPR Trailer Services Ltd in Walton Avenue, Felixstowe, where he worked part-time and had been standing on a cherry picker.

The jury heard from the report prepared by Suffolk Police that a truck leaving the site clipped the cherry picker which tipped it over causing Mr Skinner to fall.

A post-mortem examination found he died from a severe head injury as a result of the fall.

The inquest heard Mr Skinner had been wearing a hi-vis vest and steel toe-capped boots at the time, but there was no legal requirement to wear a hard hat.

Evidence heard from the Health and Safety Executive added that even with cones around the cherry picker the outcome would not have been different as the lorry driver had acknowledged the presence Mr Skinner.

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Suffolk police’s investigating officer PC Jeff Cribb said it was a “marginal misjudgement of the available space” on the part of the lorry driver.

Paying tribute to Mr Skinner, his family issued a statement yesterday which said: “The past two years have been hard for the family. Doug has been a much missed husband, father and grandad.

“Now the inquest is over we are hoping to have closure and remember Doug as the loving, caring hardworking man he was.”

Yesterday the jury returned a unanimous conclusion of accidental death, having suffered severe head injuries.

Assistant coroner Nigel Parsley said he had seldom been involved in a case where family and colleagues had expressed such positive words. He added: “Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Doug himself, it does give us a mark of the man that he was held in high regard by all his colleagues.”

An SPR spokesman said: “Doug Skinner was a respected, trusted and extremely valued member of staff. His tragic death has had a profound effect on SPR Trailer Services Ltd. The company’s thoughts have been and remain with the family.”