Crush tragedy of Rory: Lorry was illegally parked

Floral tributes opposite Asda, South Elmsall, to homeless man Rory Dove, who was killed in a road traffic accident.'h7947h209
Floral tributes opposite Asda, South Elmsall, to homeless man Rory Dove, who was killed in a road traffic accident.'h7947h209
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A HOMELESS father-of-two died after being crushed under the wheels of a lorry which had been illegally parked on a pavement in South Elmsall, an inquest heard.

Rory Dove, 43, suffered fatal head, neck and chest injuries in the incident opposite Asda on Barnsley Road, just before 1pm on February 23.

The inquest heard on Monday how lorry driver Geoffrey Hazlehurst was intending to collect waste meat products from a butcher’s shop next to the Asda store.

But as Mr Hazlehurst started driving off the pavement he heard a noise and felt the vehicle lift.

Mr Hazlehurst told police he had looked in his rear view mirrors before the truck set off, but did not see Mr Dove to the rear near side of the vehicle.

Sgt Carl Quinn of West Yorkshire Police said the truck was parked illegally on the pavement.

And accident investigator PC Mark Lingard said Mr Dove would have been visible in the driver’s nearside mirror.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner David Hinchliff said: “Rory was there to be seen and it would appear that the driver, in his desire to

start his vehicle and move off, hasn’t heeded the presence of Rory at the side of the vehicle at this particular time.”

Mr Hinchliff added: “He was a highly respected man, known by everybody. He seemed to scratch his living by being in the vicinity of the Asda supermarket helping people with their shopping.”

The Express reported back in March how more than 150 people lined the streets of the town for Mr Dove’s funeral and a plaque was unveiled in his memory outside the Asda store following the tragedy.

His brother Russell Dove said that the support of the people in the town was unbelievable.

Mr Dove, 45, said: “He was a very well liked guy and the community really liked him.

“I just can’t believe the support of the community - it has really helped to ease the pain of the loss.”

Diane Anderson, customer service advisor at the Asda store on Barnsley Road, said that Mr Dove was known to many people across South Elmsall.

She said: “He was a friendly and familiar face to a lot of local people and he was well liked by a lot of local people. He did not cause anyone any harm.

“He was a familiar face and very well known. People used to keep him in Coca-Cola and food.”

Police arrested a 42-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but no further action was taken.

He was, though, given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to parking a goods vehicle of over seven tonnes on a public footpath.