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Tue, Mar 19, 2019 21:14
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UPM Shotton death: Driver 'thought he ran over paper bundle' in mill

ENGLAND (From news reports) -- A worker who fatally injured a colleague at a Flintshire paper mill, initially thought he ran over a bundle of paper, an inquest has heard.

Austin Thomas, 29, died after being struck by a shovel loader lorry that was being driven by Darren Wright at UPM Shotton on 6 February 2017.

Mr Wright told the jury he had smoked cannabis the weekend before the accident.

The inquest, at Abergele Town Hall, is expected to last five days.

Shortly before the fatal collision, Mr Wright had been on a cigarette break with Mr Thomas, a father-of-one from Oakenholt, the inquest heard.

After their break, the former was unaware his colleague had re-entered the warehouse on foot.

He told the court he only realized he had hit Mr Thomas when he heard a fellow worker on the radio asking why Mr Thomas was on the floor.

Mr Thomas, a former soldier in the Welsh Guards who had served in Kosovo and Afghanistan, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Following his death, Mr Wright took a saliva drugs test, which he passed, although some traces of cannabis were later found in his blood.

Mr Wright admitted smoking cannabis the weekend before the accident, which happened on a Monday.

The inquest continues.


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