Abergavenny man crushed to death by car

First published in News

A YOUNG man from Forest Coal Pit near Abergavenny was crushed to death by his car whilst he worked to repair its brake hose.

Yesterday, Newport Coroner’s Court heard that on January 14, Benjamin Holland’s Citroen Saxo car had failed its MOT.

Only three days later, as he worked to repair the vehicle, it fell off supporting wooden logs and killed him.

In a statement, his mother, Elizabeth Holland, described how the car was parked at her property in Forest Coal Pit and that the pair had discussed how Mr Holland, 26, was going to fit the fault, which was with the car’s brake hose.

On January 17, as Mrs Holland left the house at 9am, he said he was going to do it and asked if he could borrow her car jack.

She told him to wait so that she could borrow some more jacks for him and left for work.

At lunch time, she called the land line telephone and didn’t get an answer.

She said she thought this was normal if her son was working outside.

But as she returned home, just before 9pm, she noticed that the lights were on in an out building, and, as she parked her car, she saw her son’s left arm sticking out from under the Citroen Saxo.

In her statement, she said: “I knew he may have been dead as I touched his arm and it was cold.”

She called an ambulance and the fire service from inside the house before returning to her son.

Abergavenny police officer, PC McGowan, was on duty and arrived at the property at 9.25pm.

The coroner’s court heard how he approached the out building to find a male, later identified as Mr Holland, under the front of the car, "with the engine on his trunk".

From the layout of wooden logs, he believed it possible that these had been used to support the car and that the one at the front had slipped.

A post mortem examination concluded that he died from asphyxiation and compression of the chest.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded by assistant coroner Wendy James.

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