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'Workers told carry on' after tragic fall

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Peter McDonald at the coroner's court inquest into the death of Peter McAndrew. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Peter McDonald at the coroner's court inquest into the death of Peter McAndrew. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Peter McDonald at the coroner's court inquest into the death of Peter McAndrew. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A FOREMAN at the scene of a horrific industrial accident that killed a pipe layer told workers to carry on as usual, an inquest has been told.

Father-of-four Peter McAndrew (44), of Muckerstaff, Coolarty, Co Longford, was killed on September 22, 2008, when the nine-ton dump truck he was driving during construction of the M3 near Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, overturned into a water-filled culvert, trapping him in several feet of water underneath the vehicle.

Fellow worker Peter McDonald said he was told by project foreman Paul Wilson to "carry on as if nothing had happened", the Dublin District Coroner's Court heard yesterday.

 

Excavator

Mr McDonald said he was driving an excavator loaded with "heavy wet soil" when Mr McAndrew drove up beside him in his dump truck and motioned for him to fill it up.

Noting that the equipment he had was four times the size of Mr McAndrew's truck, Mr McDonald told the inquest that he initially refused because his machine's bucket was too big to dump the soil into the 5ft wide bin of the mini-truck.

But Mr Wilson said, "Fill it up or get off the site," he told the inquest.Despite his concerns, Mr McDonald emptied the load into Mr McAndrew's truck.

Mr Wilson denied he made such orders. He told the inquest that he was sitting in his jeep about 50 yards away when the accident happened.

He said that, when he saw the load of soil being flattened by Mr McDonald in order for it to be deposited into the mini-truck, "I thought she was too big to be loaded, but I was too late" to intervene because he was on the other side of the motorway.

Mr Wilson said he did not know who told Mr McDonald to load the mini-truck.

"Somebody sent that man over to get loaded and whoever did that is responsible for what happened," he told the inquest.

The inquest continues

hnews@herald.ie


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