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Nottinghamshire man died on building site after truck ‘tipped over’

todayFebruary 15, 2022

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A 23-year-old from Nottinghamshire who died on a building site was a ‘conscientious, hard-working young man’, an inquest has been told.

Harry Cheston, who lived in Rainworth, was working on the construction of new apartments at the corner of Rudgard Lane and West Parade, in Lincoln, when he died on January 9, 2020.

An inquest into the incident began on Monday, February 14, and a jury was sworn in, Lincolnshire Live reports.

Marianne Johnson said: “Harry Cheston was 23 years old and was working for Melfort Construction as a dump truck driver.

“Melfort Construction had been sub-contracted to the Lindum Group to carry out groundwork.

“On January 9 at around 10am, he drove his front-loaded dump truck onto a high level of the site and opened the barriers with the intention of unloading spoil.

“The truck tipped over, ended up upside down and, despite best efforts, Harry Cheston was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The inquest heard evidence from one of those who was working with Mr Cheston on the morning of his death.



Harry Cheston with his partner Lauren
Harry Cheston with his partner Lauren

Richard Heaven, who was also working for Melfort Construction doing groundwork on the site, explained that a higher level of ground had been constructed at the site around November 2019 to accommodate a piling rig.

Mr Heaven said that the machine was being used to drive piles into the ground to provide foundation support for the buildings, a process which he said created a lot of spoil.

This spoil would be placed into the dumper truck driven by Harry Cheston and unloaded at an “agreed tipping point”, Mr Heaven explained.

He said that the tipping point was being accessed by a “pier” at the edge of the higher level on the building site, with the build-up of spoil meaning that this pier stretched out to a length of around 20 metres at one stage.

But on the morning of Mr Cheston’s death, when he was unloading spoil from excavation work being carried out by Mr Heaven, the inquest heard that the pier had reduced in length given that much of the spoil had been taken away in lorries.



Floral tributes left next to a building site on Rudgard Lane, Lincoln.
Floral tributes left next to a building site on Rudgard Lane, Lincoln.

Mr Heaven also told the inquest that by January 9, barriers had been installed along the edge of the higher level, with Mr Cheston asking if he could open these to unload spoil on the morning of his death.

Mr Cheston was told by Phillip Hayes, of Melfort Construction, to “open the barriers, tip the stuff, get off your dumper and close it again”, according to Mr Heaven.

In relation to the morning of the incident, Mr Heaven said: “I saw the dumper truck reversing but this was in my blind spot because of the excavator arm.

“We had been unloading at the site right through December and he’d have done it hundreds of times. I didn’t have any concerns about him unloading there, he was competent enough.

“The next thing I heard was Carl Allen [site manager for the Lindum Group] and Phil Hayes shouting and screaming and running to help him.

“I could see Harry was injured and I also tried to help him while he was in the truck until the paramedics arrived.

“I had worked with Harry prior to the incident for around two years and had always thought of him as a conscientious and hard-working young man.”

The inquest continues.

Days after the young man’s death, Mr Cheston’s family described him as a ‘gentle giant’ in a heartfelt tribute, saying “the world is a worse place without him”.

Notts County fan Mr Cheston was just about to become a dad for the first time.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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