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Inquest held into death of David Potter who was accidentally killed by his brother

By Debbie Luxon

The tearful brother of an industrial site worker has told an inquest of how he accidentally drove over and killed his own brother.

David Potter was showing his brother Mark Potter, from Higham, a lorry for sale which Mark was looking to buy at Harris Commercial Repairs Ltd in Basildon, Essex.

David Potter was a "much-loved" dad and stepdad. Picture: SWNS
David Potter was a "much-loved" dad and stepdad. Picture: SWNS

Mark, who was 55 at the time, told an inquest at Essex Coroner's Court on Thursday (January 19) of how he had been waiting in the lorry for 10 minutes after agreeing to do a test drive.

He decided to start the engine and drive off after waiting, not knowing David, 57, was in front of the lorry on October 4, 2019.

David – who was a "much-loved" dad and stepdad –was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mark, now 58, told the coroner of how he lurched forward with the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) before he heard David "shouting".

He said in a tearful statement: "I saw him in the mirror at the back of the vehicle. I lost sight of him then, I could not see him in either of my mirrors.

"I sat there for some time, I do not know how long it was and I thought 'just go on your own'. At that point I moved the vehicle forward."

Realising what he had done, he immediately called an ambulance. Three arrived with an air ambulance at the scene shortly after 1pm.

Mark said he had been "excited" to see David when he arrived at the site as it had been a while since they had last seen each other.

They greeted with a "hug and kiss" before David began to show Mark the lorry in question.

Mark – who has a class one HGV licence – told the jury that he did a full check in each mirror and windscreen before moving off.

He said it "looked like" David had been fitting trade license plates at the back of the vehicle when he last saw him.

He said he had moved the automatic vehicle at barely half a mile an hour before he heard shouting and turned off the engine.

An inquest was heard at Essex Coroner's Court last week. Picture: Google Maps
An inquest was heard at Essex Coroner's Court last week. Picture: Google Maps

Mark added: "I could not see him, I did not know what it was. The last place I saw him was at the back, I went around to the back and he was not there.

"I went all the way around to the front and I saw his glasses and phone at the front. He was at the front of it."

A colleague of David's then rushed out of one of the buildings to the sounds of a female voice shouting "call an ambulance".

Graham Walsh, another colleague, found David under the lorry.

He used a forklift truck to help lift the lorry off David so the paramedics could attend to him.

Kelly Spratt, Mark's partner who had come with him for the visit was waiting in their car before she saw Mark run past reception.

"David was loved by everyone he met..."

She heard him say: "My brother is under the lorry."

She then called 999.

Mark was arrested by Essex Police but later released without charge.

At the time the family released an emotional tribute to David. The statement read: "David was loved by everyone he met. He had a big, loving heart and always put a smile on your face.

"He was the kind of person who would always put others first.

"The most warm and loving person you would ever meet, who lived life to the fullest with the people who meant most to him.

"The best dad, husband, brother, stepdad and grandad who loved his family more than anything."

The inquest was concluded on Friday (January 20).

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