Sidmouth woman finds fiance crushed by car

A man who was crushed to death when a car rolled off a jack died in a "tragic accident", an inquest has heard.

Dean Parkinson's lower body was found protruding from under the Lexus by his fiancee Emma Taylor on February 15.

The 37-year-old of Betjeman Close, Sidmouth, Devon, was airlifted to hospital where he died.

The inquest heard he had used a jack designed for changing a wheel and had not put on the hand brake or left the car in gear.

'Jack toppled over'

Ms Taylor told the inquest, which was held in Exeter, that she was getting their baby son ready for bed and had shouted out to Mr Parkinson but had heard no response.

She went outside and found his body under the car.

Three neighbours helped to lift the vehicle and Ms Taylor and another woman dragged Mr Parkinson from under the car.

A forensic vehicle examiner said the scissor-style jack was not mechanically defective but it was designed to be used for changing a tyre at the side of the road, but not for when people were under the vehicle.

Firefighter Chris Hunt confirmed the handbrake was off and the car was not in gear at the time.

He told the inquest the car rolled towards a fence, the jack toppled over and Mr Parkinson was crushed.

Andrew Cox, the assistant coroner, said Mr Parkinson might have been tightening something under the car with some force, leading it to roll off the jack.

He concluded: "It was a tragic accident."

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