Inquiry rules work death of Falkirk granddad was tragic accident

A Falkirk HGV driver’s death has been ruled a “tragic accident” following a fatal accident inquiry.

By James Trimble
Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 4:30 pm

Christopher – known as Chris – Black (49) died as result of a fatal head wound he sustained when he fell four feet from the trailer of his truck onto the ground as he waited for his vehicle to be loaded with bales of straw at a farm in Forfar.

Mr Black had been at Cotton of Turin farm operated by D Ramsay and Son in November 2017 when he the incident happened.

A fatal accident inquiry was held at Dundee Sheriff Court recently to establish the circumstances surrounding his death and Sheriff George Way ruled Mr Black’s head injury caused his death and nothing could have been done to prevent the accident.

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HGV driver Chris Black with his beloved granddaughter Ava (2). Chris sadly died in a work-related accident at the age of 49 in 2017.

Mr Black was working for Ian Murrie Haulage Ltd at the time and Sheriff Way ruled no blame could be attached to any work systems at the farm, describing Mr Black’s death as a “tragic accident”.

He concluded: “There was no failure in the planning or operation of the mechanical loading of the straw bales. The deceased was not struck by a straw bale. There is simply no explanation as to how or why the deceased sought to climb on to the trailer or how he came to fall backwards.

“No one saw this, the witnesses only came upon the aftermath. This was a tragic accident but one for which the inquiry can offer no explanation of any kind.”

Mr Black, a doting granddad, will never got the chance to see the birth of his new grandchild in 2018, but his death meant new life for someone in the future due to him being an organ donor.

Widow Eleanor Black lost husband Chris (49) after he died in a work-related incident back in 2017

Wife Eleanor Black, who was married to Chris for 26 years, said: “He would do anything for anyone. He was an HGV driver and he knew people all over the place and they liked and respected him. He never had a sick day off work in the 29 years I knew him.

“He loved his work and he loved his family.”

After suffering massive head trauma at the Forfar farm Mr Black was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, but nothing could be done to save him and his life support machine was turned off two days later.

At the time Mrs Black, who is also on the donor register, said: “We got a call saying he had been hurt. It was his body when we saw him, but he wasn’t there. I’m quite sure he was gone. They had him on a ventilator and were able to take two of his heart valves for future transplants.

“Chris just thought, when you’re dead your organs are no good to you – but they can help someone else. They can make their life a bit better and that’s why he did it.”

There were two great loves in Chris’s life, his family – specifically Ava – and lorries.

“When wee Ava came along she just melted his heart,” said Eleanor. “But he was what people call a ’petrolhead’. He loved driving – and it had to be lorries. He loved watching Ice Road Truckers and Eddie Stobart shows on the television.

“He lived for his lorries and he lived for his family."

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