Tayside and Central Scotland

Inquiry rules forester caused accident that killed him

A forestry worker killed after a 25-tonne timber transport machine "lurched forwards" on to him caused the accident himself, a sheriff has ruled.

Experienced forester Ewan MacGregor died after the accident in the forest at Brig O'Turk in February 2012.

A fatal accident inquiry concluded that the 59-year-old, from Callander, was to blame for the incident.

The timber "forwarder" was found in forward gear with the handbrake off, following the accident.

The inquiry heard Mr MacGregor had been standing beside the machine, "banging" on a dodgy fuel pump on the engine.

The huge machine began to slide down the slope "like a sledge" and Mr MacGregor fell underneath, suffering fatal injuries.

Sheriff William Gilchrist determined the cause of the accident was Mr MacGregor's decision to turn the ignition key while he was standing on the track of the vehicle, causing it to jerk forward.

The sheriff ruled that Mr MacGregor could have taken reasonable precautions to prevent the accident, by ensuring the parking brake was on before turning the key.

In his written determination, he also ruled that the forestry worker should not have attempted to start the engine when he was not in control of the vehicle.

Mr MacGregor was working for Perthshire firm Corrieri Timber Ltd at the time of the accident on 8 February, 2012.

The company's owner, Victor Corrieri, told the inquiry at Stirling Sheriff Court that Mr MacGregor had "years of experience" using such machinery.

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