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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Cumbrian dad of six was killed in crash with mobile crane

A father of six died after losing concentration and colliding with a mobile crane on the A595.

Si Fisher photo
Si Fisher

Eric Simon Fisher, known as Si, died after the van he was travelling in with his son veered onto the other side of the road and hit the crane.

The crash happened on the A595 between Mealsgate and Bolton Low Houses on February 2 last year.

Mr Fisher, 45, of Redmain near Cockermouth, died from his injuries a short time later at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Deputy coroner Simon Ward ruled that his death was the result of a “terrible, terrible accident” at an inquest in Workington yesterday.

He said: “He appears to have had a momentary lapse of judgement which is very tragic. “Clearly there was a momentary lapse of concentration on his part and he had the terrible misfortune of the other carriageway being occupied by the crane.

“Why that happened we don’t know.”

Mr Fisher, who was a self-employed farmer and builder, had been travelling to Carlisle from Cockermouth in the van with his son Andrew when the collision happened. Andrew was uninjured in the crash.

The inquest heard evidence from other drivers on the road that day who saw the accident and described how the van appeared to drift across the white line for no apparent reason.

In a statement given to police and read out at the inquest, Andrew described how his father appeared to be daydreaming just before the crash and had tried to straighten up the van but was not able to do so in time to avoid the collision which spun the van in the air.

Derek Branthwaite, the driver of the 60-tonne crane, said he had been driving them for 37 years.

He said he was travelling at about 30mph and the van was only about 30 yards away from him when it began drifting.

He said: “I didn’t have very much time to take any action. I braked but it was over in a matter of seconds.”

Collision investigator PC Mark Dempster said there were no defects with either vehicle or with the road at the collision site.

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