Pensioner dies after tripping on paving stone - the day Poole council decided they weren't dangerous

Pensioner dies after tripping on paving stone

Charles Hurst, who died after tripping on a paving slab

The street where Charles Hurst fell

The uneven paving stones that Charles Hurst tripped on

First published in News by

A PENSIONER died after tripping over in Poole High Street – the same morning inspectors decided they did not need to urgently replace loose paving stones.

An inquest heard retired engineer Charles Hurst, 87, had driven to the shops from his home in Hamworthy on the morning of December 6 last year.

Witness Madeleine Tandy had just walked over the level crossing from Falkland Square when she saw Mr Hurst walking towards her.

“The next second, bang. He went straight down. His face bounced off the floor. It was so quick – I’ve never seen anyone fall like it,” she said.

At that stage he was conscious and was able to walk a few steps to the ambulance.

He died that night from a subdural haematoma, a blood clot under the outer covering of the brain.

His widow Doris said her husband did his own gardening and decorating and was able to get around. A neighbour took her into Poole when she became concerned for him that morning. She discovered her husband was unconscious in intensive care and nothing more could be done for him.

Miss Tandy returned a few days later and took pictures.

The inquest heard Poole Council had raised a seven day priority notice on November 29 over loose blocks around inspection covers outside Linens Direct. Wessex Water and the council carried out a site inspection on the morning of December 6 and agreed the defect was not dangerous. Remedial works were carried out in early January.

Nigel Martin, operational head of water supply for Wessex Water, said the company was responsible for the structure of the stopcock chamber and the council for the paving.

District coroner Sheriff Payne recorded a verdict of accidental death. “It would appear that he did trip on loose paviours around one of the inspection covers,” he said.

A distraught Mrs Hurst said: “The High Street is a disgrace. My husband was very careful when he walked there. He always kept hold of my arm because there were so many potholes. The council don’t seem to bother. They’ve killed my lovely husband.”

Mr Hurst’s previous employers included Poole Foundry and Metal Box. He was a founder of Hamworthy Labour Club and captain of the skittles team for many years.

Poole Council said it had no knowledge of the incident until contacted by the coroner in February.

Julian McLaughlin, head of transportation services, offered sympathy and said: “The council conducts regular monthly inspections of Poole High Street to ensure it is well maintained. On 29 November 2011 we notified Wessex Water of several defects requiring their attention.

“The council and Wessex Water carried out a site inspection on 6 December to assess the identified defects. It was agreed which of the defects presented the greatest potential hazard to pedestrians and when the necessary repair work would be completed.

“We have a good working relationship with Wessex Water and endeavour to ensure all repairs are carried out as soon as possible. While this accident could not have been foreseen, the council will be looking at ways to improve procedures for repairing defects.”

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: “Millions of people fall over each year and tripping on an uneven section of a level surface is not something most people would think of as being potentially fatal.”

Comments (21)

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10:06am Wed 7 Mar 12

Azphreal says...

Sorry for her loss.
Sorry for her loss. Azphreal
  • Score: 0

10:30am Wed 7 Mar 12

The Renegade Master says...

This is very sad but accidents happen.
This is very sad but accidents happen. The Renegade Master
  • Score: 0

11:05am Wed 7 Mar 12

lelbel says...

I am very sorry for your loss so sad,poole council need a good kick up the buttocks,I am in one of their properties,which you are endlessly being fobbed off,when it comes to any maintenance on their propertys
I am very sorry for your loss so sad,poole council need a good kick up the buttocks,I am in one of their properties,which you are endlessly being fobbed off,when it comes to any maintenance on their propertys lelbel
  • Score: 0

11:13am Wed 7 Mar 12

l'anglais says...

Very sad, my heart goes out to his family.
Another example of putting profit before people.
Very sad, my heart goes out to his family. Another example of putting profit before people. l'anglais
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Ebb Tide says...

Our politicians know our communities have the privilege of being allowed to grow older without being institutionalised. No doubt they have directed their employees / managers to take due precautions in our public spaces to protect our elderly, amongst other vulnerable people. It is trusted that our politicians will satisfy themselves that their requirements are properly understood by their employees.
Obviously every sympathy must go to the bereaved family but, just maybe, our Council will now double-check the strength of actual commitment (by all concerned) to hazard reduction in our public spaces as we all get older and given enough time frailer.
Our politicians know our communities have the privilege of being allowed to grow older without being institutionalised. No doubt they have directed their employees / managers to take due precautions in our public spaces to protect our elderly, amongst other vulnerable people. It is trusted that our politicians will satisfy themselves that their requirements are properly understood by their employees. Obviously every sympathy must go to the bereaved family but, just maybe, our Council will now double-check the strength of actual commitment (by all concerned) to hazard reduction in our public spaces as we all get older and given enough time frailer. Ebb Tide
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Wed 7 Mar 12

TheDistrict says...

This is typical of authority. Its not our problem its theirs, its not our problem its theirs. No on is prepared to take responsibility for something that is dangerous to all.
.
This is typical of authority. Its not our problem its theirs, its not our problem its theirs. No on is prepared to take responsibility for something that is dangerous to all. . TheDistrict
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Wed 7 Mar 12

fairandsquared says...

How sad. I am too very sorry for the family,s lost. However to blame the council is crazy. Accidents and trips happen all the time, it is a part of life. It is just a tragedy, but could have happened anywhere.
How sad. I am too very sorry for the family,s lost. However to blame the council is crazy. Accidents and trips happen all the time, it is a part of life. It is just a tragedy, but could have happened anywhere. fairandsquared
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Wed 7 Mar 12

helper297 says...

funny how everyone blames the council when it was probably some teenagers or drunkards who smashed up the pathway in the first place.
funny how everyone blames the council when it was probably some teenagers or drunkards who smashed up the pathway in the first place. helper297
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Scoty2hotty says...

The Renegade Master wrote:
This is very sad but accidents happen.
accidents do happen, but not very often a preventable accident like this would lead to a fatality! have some heart!
[quote][p][bold]The Renegade Master[/bold] wrote: This is very sad but accidents happen.[/p][/quote]accidents do happen, but not very often a preventable accident like this would lead to a fatality! have some heart! Scoty2hotty
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Wed 7 Mar 12

Ebb Tide says...

I wonder why our local politicians are being needlessly defended when they have been elected to try to ensure that the best interests of our communities are protected and given staff to ensure that they can secure success ? It would be interesting to see what would happen if a member of the public turned up and repaired obvious defects likely to bother our ageing population.
Since we are dependent upon the demands set by our politicians, a double-check on the current perceptions of all concerned with the risk management seems entirely reasonable now that this terrible tragedy is in the public domain. Allocation of blame is not the issue. Learning from experience is !
I wonder why our local politicians are being needlessly defended when they have been elected to try to ensure that the best interests of our communities are protected and given staff to ensure that they can secure success ? It would be interesting to see what would happen if a member of the public turned up and repaired obvious defects likely to bother our ageing population. Since we are dependent upon the demands set by our politicians, a double-check on the current perceptions of all concerned with the risk management seems entirely reasonable now that this terrible tragedy is in the public domain. Allocation of blame is not the issue. Learning from experience is ! Ebb Tide
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Wed 7 Mar 12

boby says...

Bottom line , this could be your mum or dad injured or killed in such a incident. The very fact the site was visited and inspected suggests there was a problem in regard to the area. We all drive cars for which we as individuals are responsible for . Therefore in a public space regardless, it's the duty of care of the council or any other body to provide safe and adequate paving. My regards go out to the family , let's not forget who the real responsibility lies on. To play the blame game is not quite the professional response to the problem
Bottom line , this could be your mum or dad injured or killed in such a incident. The very fact the site was visited and inspected suggests there was a problem in regard to the area. We all drive cars for which we as individuals are responsible for . Therefore in a public space regardless, it's the duty of care of the council or any other body to provide safe and adequate paving. My regards go out to the family , let's not forget who the real responsibility lies on. To play the blame game is not quite the professional response to the problem boby
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Wed 7 Mar 12

bourne free says...

Helper297 ----- read the story ?
Helper297 ----- read the story ? bourne free
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Wed 7 Mar 12

The Renegade Master says...

Scoty2hotty wrote:
The Renegade Master wrote:
This is very sad but accidents happen.
accidents do happen, but not very often a preventable accident like this would lead to a fatality! have some heart!
I'm sorry but I haven't in any way been heartless with my previous remark. This is a very sad incident but accidents do happen and believe it or not they are not always somebody's fault.
[quote][p][bold]Scoty2hotty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Renegade Master[/bold] wrote: This is very sad but accidents happen.[/p][/quote]accidents do happen, but not very often a preventable accident like this would lead to a fatality! have some heart![/p][/quote]I'm sorry but I haven't in any way been heartless with my previous remark. This is a very sad incident but accidents do happen and believe it or not they are not always somebody's fault. The Renegade Master
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Wed 7 Mar 12

ekimnoslen says...

fairandsquared wrote:
How sad. I am too very sorry for the family,s lost. However to blame the council is crazy. Accidents and trips happen all the time, it is a part of life. It is just a tragedy, but could have happened anywhere.
Very sad but contrary to the headline in the "Daily Furious" it was the trip that did the damage not the paving stone. It seems obvious that he tripped in such a way that he could not break his fall. Sadly we all grow old and risks tend to increase with age.
[quote][p][bold]fairandsquared[/bold] wrote: How sad. I am too very sorry for the family,s lost. However to blame the council is crazy. Accidents and trips happen all the time, it is a part of life. It is just a tragedy, but could have happened anywhere.[/p][/quote]Very sad but contrary to the headline in the "Daily Furious" it was the trip that did the damage not the paving stone. It seems obvious that he tripped in such a way that he could not break his fall. Sadly we all grow old and risks tend to increase with age. ekimnoslen
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 7 Mar 12

spooki says...

Complaining about it might not have helped - I complained about some dodgy paving at a large supermarket (I already had a painful slipped disc and I didn't need a trolley ramming into paving) and all they did was say the trolley was at fault then told me I couldn't claim any money (which I wasn't trying to do). People would rather leave small repairs until the problem gets bigger then blame others. Shame this man had to die from such an everyday accident.
Complaining about it might not have helped - I complained about some dodgy paving at a large supermarket (I already had a painful slipped disc and I didn't need a trolley ramming into paving) and all they did was say the trolley was at fault then told me I couldn't claim any money (which I wasn't trying to do). People would rather leave small repairs until the problem gets bigger then blame others. Shame this man had to die from such an everyday accident. spooki
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 7 Mar 12

l'anglais says...

helper297 wrote:
funny how everyone blames the council when it was probably some teenagers or drunkards who smashed up the pathway in the first place.
The issue is lack of maintenance,
not who caused the problem in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]helper297[/bold] wrote: funny how everyone blames the council when it was probably some teenagers or drunkards who smashed up the pathway in the first place.[/p][/quote]The issue is lack of maintenance, not who caused the problem in the first place. l'anglais
  • Score: 0

6:46pm Wed 7 Mar 12

eyeinthesky says...

This is a tragic story and my condolences go to the family involved.
Why though was it necessary for the Echo to produce the front page headline entitled "Killed by a paving stone"? Mr Hurst died from a blod clot on the brain which occurred as a result of falling over. That's the fact of the matter. Just another example of poor journalism by the Daily Fail. In reality - probably hundreds of people walked over the same spot where Mr Hurst tripped but didn't meet with the same fate before the council repaired it.
This is a tragic story and my condolences go to the family involved. Why though was it necessary for the Echo to produce the front page headline entitled "Killed by a paving stone"? Mr Hurst died from a blod clot on the brain which occurred as a result of falling over. That's the fact of the matter. Just another example of poor journalism by the Daily Fail. In reality - probably hundreds of people walked over the same spot where Mr Hurst tripped but didn't meet with the same fate before the council repaired it. eyeinthesky
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Wed 7 Mar 12

sully1202 says...

i work in poole and the amount of accidents that happen because of the paving is a joke when he council come out to fix it they shuff sand in between the loose bricks seen it rain the same day its washed away and back to square

there tight arses who will not pay out to re lay the high street whats the saying "poole its a beautifal place " should read "poole high street DUMP"
i work in poole and the amount of accidents that happen because of the paving is a joke when he council come out to fix it they shuff sand in between the loose bricks seen it rain the same day its washed away and back to square there tight arses who will not pay out to re lay the high street whats the saying "poole its a beautifal place " should read "poole high street DUMP" sully1202
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Wed 7 Mar 12

springs says...

i have seen many loose paving stones up and down the high street, and all this is caused by a high level of vehicles up and down a high street twice a week which is meant for pedestrians, the high street market will be the death of poole, i never like walking up and down the high street when the market is on, it would be ok if they had something decent to sell for a start, but all they sell is tatt, and it is driving business away from the shops, no wonder there are many shops closing down in poole.
i have seen many loose paving stones up and down the high street, and all this is caused by a high level of vehicles up and down a high street twice a week which is meant for pedestrians, the high street market will be the death of poole, i never like walking up and down the high street when the market is on, it would be ok if they had something decent to sell for a start, but all they sell is tatt, and it is driving business away from the shops, no wonder there are many shops closing down in poole. springs
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Wed 7 Mar 12

dontpupmybackandtellmeitsraining says...

How much did they spend on the camera car in order to generate revenue from motorists ?

We, the people who pay these cretins need to fight back and demand our money is spent where it is needed !!
How much did they spend on the camera car in order to generate revenue from motorists ? We, the people who pay these cretins need to fight back and demand our money is spent where it is needed !! dontpupmybackandtellmeitsraining
  • Score: 0

9:02am Fri 9 Mar 12

ashleycross says...

I would query the quote that they have a good working relationship with wessex water as whenever I have reported leaks that flood the pavement, including in icy conditions which is very dangerous it has taken days to fix instead of being dealt with immediately.Each blames the other with wessex water saying that they can''t get the necessary order through from Poole council quickly, i.e. permission to do anything to the pavement.
I would query the quote that they have a good working relationship with wessex water as whenever I have reported leaks that flood the pavement, including in icy conditions which is very dangerous it has taken days to fix instead of being dealt with immediately.Each blames the other with wessex water saying that they can''t get the necessary order through from Poole council quickly, i.e. permission to do anything to the pavement. ashleycross
  • Score: 0

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