Northampton man died after falling out of his mobility scooter in town centre
A Northampton man who died in the centre of town after falling under the wheels of a flatbed lorry may have been reaching to press a button at a pelican crossing.
Keith Matson lost his life after being in collision with the truck in Horse Market, directly metres from the entrance to Sol Central.
Yesterday, an inquest into his death heard how Mr Matson had fallen from his mobility scooter into the road at around 1pm on March 8 this year.
Attempts to save the former labourer’s life failed and he died at the scene following major chest and leg injuries.
Coroner Anne Pember ruled that Mr Matson’s death was accidental, though she could not say conclusively how he had fallen from his seat on the lipped curb of the crossing.
One witness, Daniel Burrows, of Weston Favell, told the inquest via a statement: “He looked like he was going to cross Horse Market and go along Gold Street.
“[The mobility scooter] leaned towards the left side.
“A large flatbed lorry was in front of him.
“The man was attempting to reach the crossing button.
“He got pulled underneath.”
Another witness, Carly Marsh, added: “I saw the man topple out of the disability scooter sideways and out into the road.”
She then described the collision with the trailer.
Collision investigator PC Jon Hoddle said the driver of the flatbed truck, Richard Tyas, could have done nothing to avoid the incident.
Mr Matson, he said, was pulled under the wheels of the truck’s trailer after the cab had passed by.
Speaking at the inquest, PC Hoddle said: “He fell into the side part of the trailer and there was nothing Mr Tyas could have done.
“I could find no evidence of dangerous driving on behalf of Mr Tyas.”
The lorry driver, of West Yorkshire stopped immediately after the collision, when he caught a glimpse of Mr Matson’s on the road in his rear view mirror.
“I went into shock, I couldn’t go any closer,” he said in a statement read out at the inquest.
“There were lots of people around me.”
His truck, which was carrying concrete beams, was only travelling at 14 mph when he collided with the 48-year-old.
Mr Matson, who married wife Hester in 1999, loved football, snooker and woodwork, the inquest in the boardroom of Northampton General Hospital heard.
He was also fond of animals and was a bird watcher.
Mr Matson was suffering from a number of medical conditions at the time of his death including type two diabetes and hypertension.
But the mobility scooter was beginning to provide him more freedom to get around.
Coroner Anne Pember read out a statement from Hester during the inquest.
“He would always make people feel better and knew what to tell them to cheer them up,” she said.
“The scooter had given him a new lease of life, enabling him to go and visit family and friends.
“Keith was my hero.
“The world has lost a very special person.”
Mrs Pember concluded that the death was accidental in her summing up.
“Mr Tyas could have done nothing to avoid this tragedy,” she added.