Death of Irishman crushed under dumper truck in Cornwall ruled an accident
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Death of Irishman crushed under dumper truck in Cornwall ruled an accident

THE DEATH of an Irish workman who was crushed under his overturned dumper truck was an accident, an inquest has concluded.

John Sweeney, 45, was originally from Dunfanaghy in Co. Donegal but was living in Northern Ireland at the time of his death.

The father-of-two was working for BT in Coverack to earn extra money to put towards renovations on his new family home in Co. Antrim.

The inquest jury heard that Mr Sweeney had not been wearing a seat belt when the one-tonne dumper truck he was working in overturned in June last year.

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He had been laying fibre optic cables for super-fast broadband at the time.

The hearing was told it was “more likely than not” than Mr Sweeney would have survived the incident if he had been using his seatbelt.

Cornwall Live reports that John Sweeney’s widow Geraldine told an inquest in Truro, Cornwall that her late husband was “a rock”, adding that he was an accomplished construction worker and loving husband.

"John was as fit as an ox and rarely got sick or unwell. He's a big strong Donegal man who could take on the world," she said.

"He was my protector and my rock and nothing else mattered while I was with him. John was a very practical, hands on person and was able to do most of the construction of our house.

"It was our dream to live in that house as a family, but obviously that was not possible," she added.

The jury heard that Mr Sweeney and a team of workmen had been laying cables and resurfacing roads in Coverack in June last year.

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Mr Sweeney was seen driving his dumper truck into a car park where his workmates had gathered stones and spoil.

The inquest was told that the dumper truck had its skip raised when it tipped over onto its side and pinned Mr Sweeney under its roll bar.

Mr Sweeney died at the scene from chest compression.

Police later discovered that the dumper truck’s seat belt was fastened behind the vehicle's seat.

The jury returned a conclusion of accidental death after a three-day hearing.