‘Hero’ dad died after collapsing in front of bin lorry and being crushed

A judge has ruled that nothing ‘reasonable’ could have saved the life of a man killed under the wheel of his own bin lorry.

Council worker Robert McMillan, from Hamilton, died at around 10.20am on January 17, 2019, after the horrific accident in East Kilbride.

A fatal accident inquiry has ruled that ‘there are no precautions which could reasonably have been taken and which might realistically have avoided the death’.

It was found that the 55-year-old died of choking after becoming trapped under the front nearside wheel of a massive Mercedes Econic motor and that Robert’s ischaemic heart disease might have been a factor.

It is also likely he collapsed first before the wheel of the South Lanarkshire Council vehicle and made no recommendations on improving safety to the body.

Sherriff Kelly wrote: “The most likely explanation to emerge from the police[1] road traffic unit investigation, expressed most clearly by Sergeant Bell, was that some substantial medical episode occurred, resulting in Mr McMillan collapsing onto the roadway in front of the lorry and not moving as it passed over him.

“That such an episode occurred is consistent with the post mortem report, which concluded that Mr McMillan had significant ischaemic heart disease, which was of a severity that it could have caused sudden death at any time and which could have played a part in his death by potentially being a factor that had led to collapse prior to being run over.

“It may be concluded, therefore, that Mr McMillan has fallen to the roadway in front of the lorry, likely having collapsed. In the short time that Mr McMillan walked down the nearside of the lorry, in front of it, and collapsed, the collision investigators concluded that it was possible for him to have done that without the driver having seen him.

“Mr McMillan would have been lifeless on the roadway as the lorry passed over him, resulting in him coming under its front nearside wheel, which has resulted in his death.”

He added: “Ultimately, while no definitive answer emerged from the evidence as to why Mr McMillan came to be placed where he was, the witnesses at the hearing were at one in ruling out that any precaution should have been taken or that any recommendation be made.

“I, therefore, make no findings as to precautions and make no recommendations.

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“Finally, I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Mr McMillan.

The Rangers fan is survived by wife Lesley, daughter Lauren, and his mother, brother, and two sisters.

Following his death, heartbroken daughter Lauren paid tribute to her ‘hero’ dad and described losing him as ‘the hardest day’.

She wrote on social media at the time: “I never ever thought I would have to write this not today at least.

“Today has now become my hardest day to live, as my dad has passed away due to an accident at work.

“My best friend, hero and most of all daddy is gone and knowing I’m never going to see him again is breaking me to pieces.

“Dad I promise I’ll do everything I can to make you stay proud of me, and do everything we planned to do.

“I will miss you daddy. Forever your princess.”

South Lanarkshire Council roads boss Michael McGlynn said everyone associated with the local authority was “deeply saddened at the death of our colleague”.

References

  1. ^ police (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  2. ^ breaking news (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  3. ^ coronavirus (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)
  4. ^ here. (www.glasgowlive.co.uk)