Grandfather died when concrete slab hit windscreen

Image source, Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption,
Steven Oscroft's wife and two grandchildren were with him in the car when he died

A "much-loved" grandfather was killed when a concrete slab fell from a lorry load and smashed through his car windscreen, an inquest has heard.

Steven Oscroft, 60, was driving along Netherfield Lane near Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire, on 7 July last year when the object hit his car.

Assistant coroner Gordon Clow said Mr Oscroft died instantly after suffering "extensive traumatic head injuries".

He concluded his death was "from a rare traffic collision".


Nottingham Coroner's Court heard the accident happened about 11:35 BST as Mr Oscroft, from Shirebrook, Derbyshire, drove his wife and two grandchildren home from a morning strawberry picking.

The inquest heard Mr Oscroft's wife had described seeing a piece of concrete fall from a tipper lorry passing in the opposite direction.

"[Mrs Oscroft] said she looked away and then heard a smash and looked at her husband to see that he had suffered horrific head injuries," said Mr Clow.

"His injuries were catastrophic and he died at the point of impact."

The inquest heard the driver of the lorry did not stop at the scene, and a concrete slab measuring 20cm (7in) and weighing 8.5kg (18lbs) was recovered from the car dashboard.

Mr Clow said CCTV footage had shown a lorry matching witness descriptions passing close by one minute after the accident.

The inquest heard the driver and Paul Wainwright Construction Services, which owned that vehicle, disputed their lorry had been involved or had shed part of its load.

Mr Clow said it would have been a "remarkable coincidence" for a different lorry to have been involved.

He added: "Given that only a minute in time separates the accident and the CCTV image of the lorry, and given the location of the accident, if that lorry involved in the collision is not the lorry in the CCTV image then it would have to be a huge level of coincidence."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
The accident happened on Netherfield Lane, Nottinghamshire last year

The inquest heard several Wainwright lorries carrying rubble had passed that stretch of road that day.

Mr Clow said the loads were mounded on many of them and it was standard practice that some sides were left uncovered and not protected by a net, so pieces of rubble could come loose.

He added a man who had previously been arrested over the crash by Nottinghamshire Police had never been charged due to insufficient evidence that an offence had been committed.

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Oscroft's family said in a statement they felt "robbed and beyond heartbroken to have lost him in such a tragic way, which [they felt] could have been prevented".

Mr Clow said Wainwright had already given extra training to its drivers on the safe loading of lorries.

Image source, Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption,
Mr Oscroft's family said they felt "robbed and beyond heartbroken" by his passing

He also said he would also be writing to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to consider changing the current guidance on the practice of heavy mounded loads in order to prevent future deaths.

He added the accident had been "extremely traumatic" for the family and spoke of "how much [Mr Oscroft] was loved and how much he will be missed".

He told them: "You have suffered a very dreadful trauma.

"My advice will hopefully benefit future families but will be of no benefit to you as you have already tragically lost a loved member of your family."

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