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Home   Tenterden   News   Article

Father Gavin Aldridge crushed to death under Land Rover Discovery after it fell off ramps at Bethersden Business Centre, inquest hears

10 May 2014
by Tricia Jamieson

One of the front wheels slipped off, crushing 36-year-old Gavin Aldridge to death.

He was found by a friend 15 minutes after the tragic accident at Bethersden Business Centre.

Emergency services were called to Bethersden Business Centre

Emergency services were called to Bethersden Business Centre

Desperate efforts were made to free and revive him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Aldridge, a visual engineer, of Weavers Way, Ashford, died on December 1 last year.

Friend Peter Hobden, of Bishops Green, Ashford, told coroner Rachel Redman he had arranged to meet Mr Aldridge at the business centre on the afternoon he died.

Mr Hobden, an ambulance technician, said he arrived at 3.10pm. There was no one else around.

“I called out and then saw him under the car,” he said.

“The car had come off the ramps. I could see his legs but was not able to help him.”

Mr Hobden called 999, using his experience as an ambulance technician to say exactly what was needed, then shouted for help from the neighbouring fishery.

“Quite a few people came over,” he said.

“With their help, we got the car out and pulled Gavin out. I started CPR on him but there was no response.”

The unit at Bethersden Business Centre where Mr Aldridge died

The unit at Bethersden Business Centre where Mr Aldridge died

Acting Det Sgt Richard Lamb said the ramps were designed for vehicles up to the size of an estate car.

“The wheels of the Land Rover were too big for the ramps. They overhung the ramps at the front and sides,” he said.

“The wheels of the Land Rover were too big for the ramps. They overhung the ramps at the front and sides" - acting Det Sgt Richard Lamb

Det Sgt Lamb said the ramps were not crushed in the accident.

“I am satisfied that the vehicle had slipped off the ramps. I do not believe the ramps were suitable for this vehicle,” he said.

Pathologist Dr Nicola Chaston carried out a post mortem.

She said Mr Aldridge had suffered a bruised chest, rib fractures and injuries to his scalp and lungs.

She gave the cause of death as crushing injuries.

Mrs Redman recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

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