Haulage firm owner, 76, was killed by one of his own lorries

The owner of a HGV firm was killed on the roads while cycling by one of his own lorries, an inquest heard.

Jeff Atkinson, 76, was cycling on the inside of a lorry which hit him as it turned out of the haulage firm's yard in York.

The driver, Russell Bowe, had checked his side mirrors but was not aware of his boss's presence in front of the lorry, the inquest heard.

North Yorkshire Coroners' Court was told Mr Atkinson had told his staff and children never to cycle along the near side of a HGV unless they were sure the driver had seen them.

But Mr Atkinson, who had run J Atkinson and Sons Ltd since 1969, seemingly broke his own rule and was killed in the horror crash on August 27 last year.

Mr Bowe said he heard 'shouting and screaming' and stopped to find he had partially driven over his boss.

But Mr Atkinson's son Philip, who is also part of the family business, said in a statement to the inquest: 'I don't hold Russell responsible.'

He added he had viewed the company's CCTV which had captured the incident.

He told the court: 'Personally I would not have expected to see him where I did.'

Tony Yates, another staff member, said he was in a van following Mr Bowe's lorry and Mr Atkinson's bicycle up the private road from the base to the public road.

He saw Mr Bowe pause at the junction and Mr Atkinson cycle up the lorry's near side.

He told the inquest: 'I thought it was dangerous for him to go down there and I wondered why he was going down there.'

One of the lorry's tyres appeared to be underinflated and he thought Mr Atkinson may have been intending to tell the driver about it.

North Yorkshire Police investigator Nigel Varney said one of the tyres was less than half the recommended pressure.

Mr Atkinson was wearing an orange hi-visibility jacket which was a similar colour to Mr Bowe's lorry so may not have been easy to see in the lorry's mirrors, the inquest heard.

Mr Bowe had stopped at the junction and there were no pavements, so he would have had no reason to check his front, Mr Varney said.

Assistant coroner Jonathan Leach said it was possible Mr Atkinson had seen the deflated tyre and decided to go round to the driver's door to tell Mr Bowe about it.

He concluded Mr Atkinson 'made a conscious decision' to do what he did and made a finding that he had died as a result of a road traffic collision, adding he died at the scene from extensive injuries.

Article Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9454915/Haulage-firm-owner-76-killed-road-crash-one-lorries-cycling.html