THE FATAL ACCIDENT AT KESWICK.
Mr. Gordon Falcon, coroner for the division, held an inquest at the Court
Buildings on Saturday afternoon touching the death of Joseph Forrester, who
died the previous day through fracture of the spine, occasioned by his
falling into one of the coal vaults at the Keswick Station during the
snowstorm on the 17th Feb. Mr. C. Cartmel was foreman of the jury.
Mrs. Susan Forrester gave evidence as to the identification of the body. She
said her husband was 33 years of age, and at the time of his accident was
engaged by Mr. Boustead to cart coals to the gas works. After he was brought
home on the 17th Feb. he said very little about his accident. She asked him
how it happened and he said he could hardly tell. He said he had been
knocking a piece of coal out and lost his hold as he was coming round the
wagon . That was the only statement he made. He was attended by Dr. Knight
and died on the 26th Feb.
John Watt, coal agent, deposed that between 11 and 12 o'clock on Wednesday,
17th Feb., he was in the cabin at the entrance to the coal yard ,
Forrester's cart was standing in one of the "drops," and deceased went to
borrow a shovel of Mr. Wilson. Witness did not see Forrester as he came
back . There was a snowstorm and witness was in the cabin. About twenty
minutes after witness had seen Forrester, he heard a shout and, on going
into the yard, found Forrester lying in the drop next to that in which the
cart was standing. After having borrowed a shovel Forrester would have to
cross the rails to get to the wagon. The division walls between the drops
are about 2ft wide and the men regularly walk over them. The "drops" were
made in the usual form-same as at all stations. Snow was falling heavily at
the time. The deceased had not been regularly engaged in carting coals ,he
had worked on and off at it and was familiar with the drops. There was
nobody else but the deceased about the wagons at the time. Forrester was
quite conscious when carried into the cabin. He said he did not know how he
had fallen into the drop. Everything was in proper order about the "drops."
After he had been carried into the cabin a doctor was sent for and later
Forrester was moved in a bus to his home.
Mr. J. Clark, who represented the Railway Company, said be had no questions
to ask. He added that from inquiries which he had made it was not known
whether the deceased fell from the wagon or the rails. If he had fallen off
the end of the wagon he would most certainly have fallen, as he did, into
the cell next to the one at which be was engaged.
Mr. Watt added that they could trace the deceased's footmarks in the snow up
to the wagon. There was no mark on the buffer or on the partition wall at
the end of the wagon.
Inspector Kelly said it bad been suggested that be caught his foot on the
rail which caused him to turn a somersault into the drop.
Mr. Watt, in reply to jurymen, said there was no shunting going on, and that
Forrester was quite sensible all the time he was in the cabin.
The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
On the motion of the foreman, seconded by Mr. Grisdale, the jury presented
their fees to the widow, who gratefully acknowledged the kindness. The
deceased was interred at Crosthwaite Church on Tuesday.