A SCRAP dealer was crushed to death when a car he was working on fell off a hydraulic hoist, an inquest heard.

Joe Farrow died when the Rover 214 dropped about 5ft, pinning him to the ground at the traveller site near Hobson Avenue, Dormans-town, Redcar, in August last year.

Mr Farrow, 51, had collected three scrap cars on the rear of his flat-bed truck before taking them to the site to be stripped down.

In a statement read out during the hearing, Philip Walton, of Hobson Avenue, said he had fitted the chains to the car before Mr Farrow lowered the vehicle for him to check for parts to fit his car.

Once Mr Walton left, the car was again raised off the ground so that Mr Farrow could remove the car's exhaust and catalytic converter using a metal bar. The car slipped from the hoist's hook and crushed him.

Pathologist Jennifer Hamilton told Teesside Coroners' Court that Mr Farrow suffered multiple injuries including a broken neck, shattered rib cage, broken pelvis and head injuries.

Stuart Johnson, the man who regularly worked with Mr Farrow, told the inquest that he did not see the incident, but felt the flat back truck shudder as the Rover slipped from the hoist.

He said: "I dropped the Hiab crane and lifted the car to get to Joe. At first I panicked and started shouting, but immediately called for an ambulance."

Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield recorded a verdict of accidental death.