Coroner concludes that unsafe load was cause of driver death

25 May 2021

Although the police failed to find enough evidence to prosecute, a coroner has sent a construction firm a Report to Prevent Future Deaths after he concluded that the piece of concrete that killed a car driver fell from one of its lorries.

The Report was sent to Paul Wainwright Construction Services Ltd and to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

It follows an inquest into the death of Steven Oscroft who was driving his wife and grandchildren when a lorry travelling in the opposite direction shed a piece of concrete about 20cm in maximum width.

This smashed through the windscreen and struck Mr Oscroft in the head, killing him instantly.

Gordon Clow, Assistant Coroner for the area of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire, concluded in his report that the lorry from which the piece of concrete fell had a portion of its load which was uncovered and which was above the level of the sides of the vehicle.

The piece of concrete which caused the collision came from the uncovered portion of the load, he said.

Evidence was heard regarding the training and practices of loading tipper lorries at Paul Wainwright Construction Services Ltd and it was noted that the firm’s practices resulted in part of the load being uncovered and liable to fall or be blown from the vehicle.

In his comments to the firm and the DVSA, Mr Clow states: “In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe your organisations have the power to take such action.”

Mr Wainwright gave evidence at the inquest and maintained the concrete did not fall from one of his company's lorries. The lorry driver who was arrested also gave evidence and said he did not believe his vehicle had shed any of its load that day.