Driver dies in freak accident


Staff reporter (Border Counties)

A HEALTH and safety investigation has been launched after a freak accident killed a lorry driver in Oswestry.
Argos delivery driver, William Ernest Barker, 68, from Rochdale, died following the incident outside the Smithfield Street store on Tuesday, May 27, just before 7am.
Members of the public and the emergency services attempted to free him from the cab, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Argos confirmed the driver had been operating from the Heywood distribution centre.
A spokesman said: “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family involved and are providing help and support to all of those affected by this tragic incident
“An urgent and full investigation into the causes of the accident has commenced and we are actively assisting the police and Health and Safety Executive in their investigations.
“The welfare and safety of our drivers remains of the utmost importance to us.”
West Mercia Police is appealing for witnesses to the incident as they investigate what happened, though they believe no other vehicle was involved.
A spokesman said: “The man was driving a delivery vehicle which is thought to have come into contact with a car park barrier.
“We are still investigating exactly what happened and are appealing for witnesses to contact Oswestry Police Station on 101.”
The Health and Safety Executive also confirmed it was investigating the tragic incident alongside the police.
Smithfield Street was closed for several hours while the emergency services worked at the site which belongs to Oswestry Town Council.
At neighbouring store M&S a spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family at this sad time and we thank our colleagues who helped at the scene.”
Council clerk David Preston said: “We are deeply saddened by the incident and we are assisting, where possible, the investigation process.”
An inquest was opened and adjourned by Shropshire coroner Mr John Ellery on Friday.
Floral tributes were placed at the scene last week
TRIBUTE: Below. A floral tribute from Argos store colleagues laid at the scene of the accident.

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