Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dumper truck driver drove to death in pit

Marcel (Jason) Daisley Image copyright Other
Image caption Mr Daisley's truck "reversed at speed" for no apparent reason

The reason why a dumper truck driver reversed into a deep pit to his death will never be known, a sheriff's fatal accident inquiry report has concluded.

Marcel (Jason) Daisley, 37, was crushed to death when his nine-tonne vehicle rolled over him at the site of a new £86m whisky bottling plant in Fife.

Witnesses said they saw the qualified driver put his truck into reverse and speed backwards towards an excavation site, while looking forwards.

The accident happened in August 2010.

In his report following the FAI in Kirkcaldy, Sheriff Andrew McCulloch said: "It must be understood that the driving by the deceased on his final run was so unexpected and contrary to practice and training that it was not something that could have been reasonable apprehended before it occurred.

"Although some witnesses had their own theories, the reason for the deceased driving as he did will remain unknown.

"The dumper truck was examined in detail shortly after the accident, and no defects were found."

No seatbelt

Mr Daisley, who was also known as Jason, was married and lived with his 33-year-old wife Tracy and their two young children in Grangemouth.

His widow said at the time: "I cannot put into words how we feel about Jason not being able to see our children grow up.

"Anybody who knew Jason will realise what a loss he is to us all."

The site, between Windygates and Leven in Fife, was being prepared for the construction of a major new whisky bottling plant for the drinks company, Diageo.

An area 1.8m high had been excavated to make way for the start of building work.

The FAI heard that Mr Daisley's vehicle reversed over an area of 32m "at speed" for no apparent reason.

Mr Daisley was not wearing his seatbelt, which resulted in him being thrown from his seat and crushed by the safety rollbars designed to keep him inside.

'Not good practice'

Sheriff McCulloch concluded that Mr Daisley would have survived the accident if he had been strapped in, had kept a proper lookout, had not reversed so far and if the area of excavation has been protected by barriers.

He added: "The most obvious precaution which could have avoided death was the wearing of the fitted seatbelt by the deceased. All witnesses who worked on the site confirmed that it was company policy to do so, and that training confirmed the importance of wearing a seat belt.

"Clearly this precaution would not have avoided the accident, but any injury sustained would have been significantly reduced.

"The evidence of (colleague) Mr McArthur was that the deceased was looking forwards for most of the journey that he made in reverse. This is not good practice, and was contrary to training.

"Had the deceased looked towards the direction of travel and kept a proper lookout around the dumper for hazards and obstructions it is likely that he would have seen that he was approaching the battered edge, and thus taken appropriate action, which would have avoided the accident."

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