Inquest jury hears harrowing evidence into death of driver struck by steel tubes

AN HGV driver died after being struck by huge steel tubes while helping a novice forklift truck driver unload his lorry, an inquest has heard.

Sheffield coroners court was told married father-of-three Robert Ismay, of Melbourne Place, Sowerby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, had been given the go-ahead to loosen fastenings securing the steel on a street as cars passed by.

Coroner Siobhan Kelly said there had been a catalogue of concerns raised over the manner and location of the steel being unloaded.

She said Davers Steel of Sheffield had never used the area Mr Ismay had parked in for unloading before and the forklift driver Reber Dawood had passed his training to use the vehicle a couple of weeks before the tragedy on December 6, 2012.

Ms Kelly said steel stockholders and processing centre Tomrods Limited of Thirsk which had employed Mr Ismay to deliver the tubes, and other firms, accepted there had been no plan for the delivery.

When the experienced HGV driver arrived at Davers Steel, access to the firms unloading yard was hampered and he received little instruction about what he should do.

The firms managing director, John Pritchard, told the hearing the steel should have been unloaded using one of their four cranes, while an expert witness stated unloading on the road was particularly hazardous.

Mr Dawood said he assumed that his manager had told him to use the forklift for the task.

He added he did not know the size or the number of tubes he needed to unload and that the only communication he had with Mr Ismay was through hand signals.

He said he had begun lifting the tubes after Mr Ismay, who was standing on the back of the truck on the opposite side to the forklift, had stood up and given him the thumbs up.

The inquest was told it was possible there was confusion over what the hand signal meant.

Mr Dawood said soon after beginning to lift the tubes he noticed them moving and lowered them as quickly as possible.

He said: "I heard a noise and couldnt see Mr Ismay any more."

During the two week hearing the jury has watched harrowing CCTV footage of the incident which showed the tubes rolling off the HGV and Mr Dawood running around the vehicle to find Mr Ismay lying on the pavement having sustained multiple injuries.

The hearing was adjourned as the jury considers its verdict.

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