Inquiry determines that dog may have hit lever leading to vehicle crushing farmer… An inquiry into a fatal accident at a farm near Mintlaw in Aberdeenshire, Scotland has come to the startling conclusion that the dog of the accident victim may have been the cause of the tragedy.
The dog is thought to have hit against a lever control while sitting in a truck which activated shovel attachment that inflicted fatal crush injuries on the 67 year old accident victim. The farmer had left the truck momentarily to shovel some animal feed into a bucket when he was crushed against a nearby wall. He was not found until many hours after the accident occurred when he was located by his son-in-law. At that stage the dog was still present in the can of the truck and the engine of the vehicle was cold, the battery had died and the vehicle had ran out of diesel.
The accident happened in June 2008 but the results of the inquiry have not been made public until very recently. The Sheriff who took charge of the inquiry in Peterhead said that some reasonable precautions might have prevented the accident, he list of recommended safety measures in this scenario included: parking the vehicle parallel to the wall rather than perpendicular to it, turning the engine off when leaving the vehicle no matter how short the duration of time the driver is absent from the vehicle, ensuring the dog is not allowed access to the can of the truck especially when the vehicle’s engine is running, activating the hand brake and putting the vehicle in neutral gear. Had any of these safety protocols being followed then the likelihood of driver safety would have increased.
The inquiry also noted that the model of the vehicle involved in the accident was fitted with a special seat sensor that stalled the operation of the vehicle when the driver wasn’t in the seat but unfortunately for the victim this modification wasn’t introduced until shortly after he purchased the truck.