A YOUNG man from a village near Abergavenny was killed in a tragic accident when a digger fell on top of him, causing severe internal injuries, a jury concluded today.

The inquest into the death of Jamie Meyrick was heard at Newport Coroner's Court earlier today, Tuesday.

He died on Tuesday, October 4, 2022. He was 21 years old.

His parents were in court for the inquest hearing, with his mother, Jill, providing emotional testimony as a witness.

The court heard that Mr Meyrick was employed at his parents’ business – Nick Meyrick Machinery and Transport.

On the day of his death, he had transported a cargo of mini diggers from Leeds to Barnes Plant Sale in Kings Yard, Penpergwm.

He had been unloading one of the diggers from the lorry down a ramp, but lost control. The digger rolled to one side. Mr Meyrick tried to get out, but fell to the floor, and the digger fell on top of him.

The air ambulance was called and paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but were unable to do so.

Mr Meyrick had suffered severe internal injuries and, at 9.07am, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jonathan Barnes of Barnes Plant Sales told the inquest he had been working in his workshop when "a man ran in and said there had been an accident".

"I rushed to get the forklift," he said.

"The man was then put in the recovery position."

Sian Clayton – head of field operations in Wales for the Health and Safety Executive - also gave evidence in court.

Ms Clayton said it was not unusual at all for mini diggers to be transported in the way Mr Meyrick had used.

The ramps used were also described as standard. There was no indication, she said, that the ramps were exceptionally steep.

The diggers Mr Meyrick was transporting were being taken for refurbishment. This, Ms Clayton said, could have meant they were not in full working order.

"This one (the digger which toppled from the lorry) had no safety belts," she said.

"It would be up to the operator to undertake a risk assessment prior to unloading.

"There were, however, no strict guidelines which stated that vehicles without all of the safety mechanisms should be unloaded in a certain way."

Written risk assessments were also not a legal requirement.

There was no evidence that Mr Meyrick asked for assistance to take the digger off the lorry, but there was no explicit industry requirement to do so.

There was also no indication one way or the other, Ms Clayton said, to suggest that the digger had not been lined up with the ramps properly before unloading.

Mr Meyrick was described as a qualified HGV driver, who had received detailed training in loading and unloading.

His attempt to escape the vehicle was, Caroline Saunders - senior coroner for Gwent - said, a natural reaction, but she noted that a seatbelt would have stopped this.

Mr Meyrick’s mother Jill said that her son had been driving HGVs for about 12 months.

"He’d been around agricultural equipment since he was a baby. He spent every weekend at my parents’ farm," she said.

"He idolised his dad and passed his tractor test a week after his 16th birthday."

He was experienced driving the type of flatbed truck he was driving on the day of his death and the distance – Leeds to Abergavenny – was something he undertook regularly.

"Nick, Mr Meyrick’s father, would advise daily on whatever task was on that day," Mrs Meyrick said.

"Jamie wouldn’t rush into things. He was thorough."

A toxicology report stated that no drugs or alcohol were present in Mr Meyrick’s body at the time of his death.

The evidence, Ms Saunders said, was not strong enough to determine what caused the digger to topple.

Returning their conclusion unanimously, the jury gave the cause of death as death by accident.

Ms Saunders thanked the jury and the witnesses, before turning to Mr Meyrick’s parents.

“I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this has been for you,” she said.

“May I offer my sincere condolences.”