A NEWLY-WED dad plunged to his death from a Ford Transit tipper while trying to relieve himself out of the open door of the moving vehicle, a West Wales inquest heard yesterday.
Ian Critchell, who had only been married four weeks and had become a dad just seven months earlier, was critically injured after plunging from the vehicle taking him back to his lodgings in Croesgoch.
His new bride Louise and Mr Critchell’s parents had been at Haverfordwest’s Withybush Hospital when Mr Critchell’s life support machine was switched off.
The court heard that Mr Critchell, a ground worker with a water and drainage company who lived in Dorchester, had been working on a building site in West Wales and was travelling back to his lodgings with his workmates following a bout of heavy drinking when the tragedy happened.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had died of a fractured skull and brain injuries.
Mr Critchell’s workmate Richard Teversham, said that, along with colleague Andy Farr, they were travelling back to their digs after spending the evening at The Sloop Inn, at nearby Porthgain.
Mr Teversham, of Weymouth, described how they had travelled only a short way at about 25mph with Mr Farr at the wheel when Mr Critchell suddenly said he needed the toilet.
“I told him to hang on and without saying a word he opened the door and went to pee outside,” he said.
“It happened so quick. I tried to grab him as he went but he was halfway out and I just couldn’t get hold of him.”
Jumping out of the tipper, Mr Taversham found his friend lying unconscious in the road.
“I put him in the recovery position and held him until the paramedics arrived. He told the hearing that he had seen Mr Critchell urinate out of a moving vehicle once before.
Mr Farr, of Creasy Road, Bournemouth, said when he reversed to the spot where Mr Critchell had fallen, he initially thought he was asleep as he appeared to be snoring. Mr Critchell was rushed to hospital where his life support machine was turned off the following day.
Mr Howells said, “Mr Critchell fell out of a moving vehicle while attempting to urinate. It is difficult to imagine anything more foolish. They had done it before and got away with it and clearly thought they could do so again.”
He recorded a verdict of accidental death.
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