Beds, Herts & Bucks

Builder crushed to death on Swineshead new build

Andrew Constable Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Andrew Constable was helping to build a new house in Swineshead, Bedfordshire

A construction worker crushed to death by a drilling machine was found by a passing cyclist, an inquest heard.

Andrew Constable, 46, from Hitchin, was working alone on the foundations of a new house in Swineshead, Bedfordshire, when the equipment fell on him.

Ampthill Coroner's Court heard Mr Constable, who was employed by Microspiling South East Limited, died at the scene.

Cyclist William Smith spotted the victim and called an ambulance.

Mr Smith said he was on his daily cycle ride at about 15:00 GMT on 9 March 2018 when he noticed a machine lying on its side in a shallow excavation in the High Street.

In a statement read to the jury, Mr Smith said he turned and spotted the back of a jacket underneath the machine.

"I found the operator underneath the machine. I called to him, but got no response," he said.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The inquest at Ampthill Coroner's Court is expected to take three days

Mr Smith went to a nearby house to get an ambulance, he said.

He and the householder went back to the scene and saw Mr Constable's work colleague had returned from a builders merchant in St Neots.

Paramedics pronounced Mr Constable dead at the scene.

A local farmer used his forklift to lift the machine away so Mr Constable's body could be removed.

PC Luke Kennett said the site was wet with mud and when he arrived the drilling machine was on its side.

The inquest continues.