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Faulty brakes may have contributed to death of Shropshire tractor driver

By Keri Trigg | Much Wenlock | News | Published:

Faulty brakes may have contributed to the death of a tractor driver, an inquest heard.

Ian Payne, 49, died on August 3, 2018, after losing control of a John Deere tractor and 14-tonne trailer while driving down a steep hill.

An inquest at Shirehall heard Mr Payne, who lived nearby in Kenley, had driven past a broken down car on the B4371 between Hughley and Much Wenlock when the incident happened.

Senior coroner John Ellery said Mr Payne's tractor was "descending a steep gradient" when it negotiated around the broken down vehicle.

He said: "But as it was doing so, the tractor and trailer appeared to gain momentum."

The vehicle mounted the verge and hit a tree, before coming to an abrupt stop at a larger tree.

My Payne was ejected from the cab of the tractor and crushed between the back of the tractor and front of the trailer. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tragic

A police report on the incident said the tractor's brakes were examined and were found not to be maintained to legal standards.

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It said there was "no doubt" that this would have affected the vehicle's braking, but it could not be said that this was the cause of the crash.

RNG Limited, Mr Payne's employer, was fined a total of £3,000 at Telford Magistrates' Court after its directors pleaded guilty to two charges in relation to the faulty brakes.

Mr Ellery told the hearing that West Mercia Police did not refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to a corporate manslaughter charge.

Mr Ellery added that Mr Payne's widow, "never wanted RNG prosecuted and considers her husband's death to be a tragic accident".

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Keri Trigg

By Keri Trigg
Reporter - @KeriTrigg_Star

Senior reporter covering Shrewsbury and South Shropshire for the Shropshire Star.

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