Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 14:50 UK

Guidance after refuse lorry death

Crash scene
Police sealed off the scene in Treorchy after the death in August 2008

A coroner has told the inquest of a teenager who died after she was struck by a lorry, it would be common sense for drivers to get help when reversing.

Esther Bush, 16, had been on her way to collect her GCSE results in Treorchy, Rhondda, in August 2008 when she was hit by the reversing refuse lorry.

Many of Rhondda Cynon Taf's vehicles have since been equipped with reversing cameras, the hearing was told.

The coroner at Aberdare recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The inquest heard that the lorry, when reversing, had no view through the rear view mirror because of the fridges and washing machines on board that were being taken away for recycling.

It is tragic that we have an incident in the first place to make better changes happen
Laurie Bush, father

The side mirrors also gave very little view creating a blind spot of around 2.5m (8.2ft), the hearing was told.

Driver Huw Jones told the court that other lorries in the council had audible warnings and rear view cameras.

He said he did not think for a second Esther was behind the lorry, he just heard screams as her body was dragged more than 8m (26ft) under the truck.

Esther was treated while she was trapped under the vehicle on Conway Street, Cwmparc, until crews from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service freed her.

She was taken to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, but died later.

The 16-year-old was on her way to pick up her GCSE results

Coroner Huw Medlicott said it appeared some lessons had been learned from Esther's death.

Lorry crews had been given additional training and it was a rule that one person stood outside when a lorry was reversing to prevent any more deaths happening, the hearing was told.

After the inquest, her father Laurie Bush said: "Lessons are always learnt from incidents and it is tragic that we have an incident in the first place to make better changes happen."

He said his daughter was a talented musician who wanted a career in child care.

At the time of her death, Treorchy Comprehensive's head teacher Bethan Guilfoyle said Esther was a very popular pupil who was into the the performing arts.



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SEE ALSO
GCSE girl dies in lorry collision
21 Aug 08 |  Wales
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22 Aug 08 |  Wales

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