Tears of tragedy forklift driver

A MAN broke down in tears as he told an inquest of the moment he accidentally crushed his colleague between a forklift truck and a lorry.Michael Fenner wept in the witness box as he relived the accident at Mulley's Farm in Little Bromley.

A MAN broke down in tears as he told an inquest of the moment he accidentally crushed his colleague between a forklift truck and a lorry.

Michael Fenner wept in the witness box as he relived the accident at Mulley's Farm in Little Bromley.

Kevin Smith, a seed processor and driver, was killed in the tragedy in November last year as he worked for Anglia Grain Services.

Mr Smith, who was also a 48-year-old special constable in Hadleigh, Suffolk, and his colleagues Mr Fenner and Adam Doyle were putting wheat through a seed sorting machine.


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Mr Fenner, a mobile plant seed operator, told the inquest at Shire Hall in Chelmsford yesterday that the forklift truck was holding a bag up which was filling with grain.

He noticed that the grain was overflowing and climbed onto the forklift to lift the forks and make more room in the bag.

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Fenner, of Woodfield in Assington, broke down in tears as he said: "I went to start the forklift up, as I started it, it lurched forward and I heard a scream. I saw Kevin was there."

The inquest that heard Mr Fenner managed to reverse the forklift away from his colleague but farm foreman Robert Howe had to stop the vehicle for him.

In a statement given after the tragedy, Mr Fenner said he had expected the forklift to be in neutral when he started it up.

Mr Smith, of Elston Walk, Tiptree, who was a special constable for Suffolk Constabulary, died at the scene of the accident despite the efforts of his colleagues to help him.

A post mortem examination found he died of blunt trauma to the chest.

The inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

The hearing was told no charges were bought as a result of the accident but new safety procedures had been introduced at Anglia Grain Services.

After the hearing, Stephen Warner of Nayland-based Anglia Grain Services, said: "All of us at the company wish to offer our support to all of the family. Our thoughts are with you, especially Kevin's wife Dawn, his daughter Gemma and ex-wife Diane."

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