Wednesday 21 February 2018

Husband died after jacked-up car collapsed on head

Elaine Keogh

A MAN died while fixing the brakes on his wife's car after the vehicle dropped on top of him while he lay underneath, an inquest heard yesterday.

Coroner Ronan Maguire said a jack on its own is never safe enough to hold a vehicle while someone is working underneath.

Zygimantas Grabys (31) usually put a tyre underneath the car -- as well as using a standard 'scissors' jack -- but didn't when working on the car last May 2.

He had decided to do the work on the Renault Megane because it was a bank holiday and the garage was closed.

Dundalk Coroner's Court heard his wife, Lina Balcuite, went to work and he rang her at 10.30am to say he would fix the brakes himself.

The car was parked outside their home in Inniscrone Mews, Avenue Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.

A short time later she was called by neighbours who had found him lying on the ground under the car.

The inquest heard from Valdas Kalausis who said that he could see the body and legs of Mr Grabys coming out from underneath the body of the car.

He said hello to him and then saw that his left ear was blue and he was lying in a pool of blood. The car was on top of his head, he said. The car jack and a tyre were also on the ground.

He said that Mr Grabys "was always working on cars and every time he put the tyre underneath except this time".

Neighbours of the couple lifted the car and pulled Mr Grabys from underneath it. One neighbour spotted a garda car and the gardai used first aid equipment and performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.

Pathologist Dr John Ryan said death was due to severe skull fractures and severe head injuries including injuries to the brain. He told Mr Grabys' widow that he would have been instantly unconscious and would have died within minutes.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Maguire said it was a tragic accident.

Irish Independent

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