Family firm fined £120,000 over mechanic's life changing injuries

A dad who suffered lifechanging injuries when he was crushed by a van in an accident in his workplace relived his ordeal as his employers were fined.

Thursday, 12th January 2017, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th January 2017, 1:36 pm
Victim Stuart Currey pictured in hospital

In a victim impact statement, mechanic Stuart Currey described his pain from serious fractures to his shoulder, pelvis, hip and ribs after the van struck him as he tried to climb the steps of a vehicle inspection pit he had been clearing out in November 2014.

Pye Motors Ltd - a family run Ford dealership on Ovangle Road, Morecambe - was fined £120,000, with £9,028 costs after pleading guilty to breaching safety regulations following a probe by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Horrified colleagues had to use jacks to lift the van, and he was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital.

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As well as “terrible financial insecurity” it also left him with a possible long term inability to work.

Stuart, a father-of-four, previously said: “What has happened to me over the last 18 months has been difficult to take and is something I’m still struggling to come to terms with.

“My life was turned upside down that day and I now know that the injuries I suffered mean I will probably not be able to return to the job I love. The injuries I suffered have had a huge impact on my family too, particularly my daughters.”

Since the incident he has been unable to work, play with his four daughters, and needs assistance from his partner Natasha.

Judge Robert Altham, sitting at Preston Crown Court, said: “He describes in a statement he was struggling to breathe and feared there and then he would die.

“Despite there being a clear risk of working in and around pits, there was no risk assessment addressing that risk whatsoever.

“Another employee indicated it became customary to drive over the pits when people were in them. The procedure was people would simply duck down as vehicles drove over.

“The defendant company has now implemented procedures to address the risks posed.

“This was a life altering incident for Mr Currey and his immediate family.”

Defending the firm, which has a £34m turnover but has pension liabilities, Keith Morton said the family were “mortified” and anxious about the consequences.