Rolls-Royce owner died after freak garage accident

INQUEST: Coroner's Court, Huntingdon

INQUEST: Coroner's Court, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

A company director died in a freak accident while maintaining his Rolls-Royce, an inquest heard.

Anthony Richardson, 60, suffered a serious head injury when he fell from a stepladder and was overcome by exhaust fumes from the car which he used for weddings.

Mr Richardson, of Chapel Road, in Ramsey Heights, struck his head on a brick used to support a cupboard during the fall and lay unconscious at the rear of the car, which had its engine running inside the garage.

He is believed to have been trying to reach a mat which was stored in the garage rafters when he fell, the inquest in Huntingdon was told.

Senior coroner David Heming said: “It seems to be nothing but a tragic accident.

“It is quite clear from the photographic evidence. They clearly show how this happened.”

He concluded that Mr Richardson’s death had been accidental.

Most Read

Toxicological tests showed that Mr Richardson had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The inquest heard that police were alerted after Mr Richardson failed to respond to telephone calls and messages.

They found him on the floor of the garage, next to the Rolls-Royce and towards the rear of the vehicle. A stepladder was on its side and he had suffered an injury to the side of his head.

The keys were in the car’s ignition and a tyre pressure device was connected to one of the tyres.

Mr Heming said that a fall from a ladder, even at low level, could have serious consequences and that Mr Richardson had been suffering dizzy spells.

He said the car’s engine must have been on at the time off the accident.

“Anthony was found on the floor of his garage having suffered a clearly visible head injury caused when he fell from his stepladder which photographic evidence of the scene showed had toppled over,” Mr Heming said.

“Anthony was carrying out maintenance checks on his Rolls-Royce vehicle as seen by the presence of a tyre pressure gauge attached to its front tyre.”

Mr Heming said pictures also showed a fuse box inside the car was open.

He said: “Carbon monoxide was detected in toxicological analysis, confirming that the car engine must also have been in operation.

“The severity of the head injury in a fall from height would have caused concussion, thereby rendering him unable to escape the poisonous exhaust emissions which caused his death.”