Rory Dove: Crush death tragedy of respected West Yorkshire vagrant

Rory Dove.
Rory Dove.
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A dad-of-two was crushed beneath the wheels of a truck which had been illegally parked on a pavement in South Elmsall, near Pontefract, an inquest heard.

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard “highly respected” vagrant Rory Dove, 43, suffered fatal head, neck and chest injuries in the incident opposite Asda on Barnsley Road, just before 1pm on February 23.

The inquest was told lorry driver Geoffrey Hazlehurst was intending to collect waste meat products from a butcher’s shop next to the Asda store.

But another truck was parked in an alleyway outside the butcher’s shop.

So he parked the truck partially on the pavement on Barnsley Road opposite Asda while he waited for the other lorry to move.

When Mr Hazlehurst started driving off the pavement, the inquest heard he heard a noise and felt the vehicle lift.

Mr Hazlehurst told police he had looked in his rear view mirrors before setting off, but did not see Mr Dove to the rear near side of the vehicle.

Sgt Carl Quinn of West Yorkshire Police said the truck was parked illegally on the pavement.

Accident investigator PC Mark Lingard said Mr Dove would have been visible in the driver’s nearside mirror.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner David Hinchliff said: “Rory was there to be seen and it would appear that the driver, in his desire to start his vehicle and move off, hadn’t heeded the presence of Rory at the side of the vehicle at this particular time.”

Mr Hinchliff added: “He was a highly respected man, known by everybody. He seemed to scratch his living by being in the vicinity of the Asda supermarket helping people with their shopping.”

Mr Dove’s mother Elaine and his brother Russell witnessed a plaque unveiled in his memory outside Asda at South Elmsall following the tragedy.

The store raised more than £1,000 from customers and staff, which was donated to Wakefield’s Community Awareness Programme – which helps homeless people.

Manager Greg Adams said: “It just goes to show the support and friendship the whole community had for Rory.”

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