Blind spot blamed for woman’s yard death

First published in News

A MOTHER of four was crushed to death by a lorry that had been parked “on or very near”

an unmarked pedestrian crossing at a recycling plant, an inquest jury has ruled.

Susan Brooks, who was employed as a cleaner at Armstrongs Environmental Services Ltd in Horwich, was hit by the lorry moving off as she crossed a depot road at the Chorley New Road site on November 14 last year.

The jury at Bolton Coroners’ Court yesterday returned a narrative verdict at the end of ther three-day inquest, which concluded that Mrs Brooks died from fatal injuries as a result of being hit by a lorry.

The verdict read: “The lorry was parked on or very near to the unmarked crossing and started to proceed at the point in time at which Mrs Brooks was very close to the vehicle.

“The close proximity of the lorry to the crossing point created a blind spot which obstructed the driver from seeing Mrs Brooks.”

Armstrongs managing director John Wallace told the court that he saw “an object” collide on the CCTV screen at his office and said he immediately knew it was “a human being”.

Mr Wallace faced further questions from members of the jury about the eroded yellow lines marking the pedestrian walkway and crossing in the yard where the accident happened.

He said that even though the lines had worn away from the concrete, it was still a recognised route from the yard to the office.

Mr Wallace added that the lines had not been re-painted since to the accident due to poor weather and pending the verdict of the inquest.

Mrs Brooks, aged 56, had been widowed three years prior to her death.

She died from the crush injuries in an ambulance on the way to hospital.

Assistant deputy coroner Kevin MacLauchlan told Mrs Brooks’ family: “I thought as a family listening to the evidence that your hearts must have been breaking.

“I hope you understand it is necessary to explore that information.

It may offer a crumb of comfort that the circumstances have been scrutinised and I offer you my sincere condolences.”

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