Prime mover driver crushed by vehicle after failing to engage handbrake: Coroner

The driver drove his prime mover to the fourth storey of 15 Pandan Crescent on Dec 14, last year and reversed the vehicle towards a trailer.
The driver drove his prime mover to the fourth storey of 15 Pandan Crescent on Dec 14, last year and reversed the vehicle towards a trailer.PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - A prime mover driver who failed to engage the handbrakes when he alighted was killed when the vehicle moved forward and crushed him against a wall last December.

In an inquiry into Mr Guo Jiasheng's death on Wednesday (May 31), State Coroner Marvin Bay, who found his death to be a misadventure, said: "(This case underscores) the importance of ensuring that a vehicle's brakes are fully deployed before any attempt is made to leave (it).

"Any inattention in this regard may carry catastrophic consequences."

According to closed-circuit television footage, the 39-year-old Chinese national drove his prime mover to the fourth storey of 15 Pandan Crescent at around 6am on Dec 14, last year and reversed the vehicle towards a trailer.

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Coroner Bay said: "While Mr Guo had been in the process of establishing the connection between the prime mover and the trailer, his prime mover began to move.

"While attempting to return to the driver's seat to stop his vehicle, (he) had been trapped by the diminishing space between the prime mover and the parapet wall."

Another prime mover driver arrived at the scene at around 7.50am and saw the aftermath of the accident.

He went forward to investigate and found Mr Guo lying motionless with severe crush injuries.

A paramedic who arrived at the scene pronounced him dead at around 8.30am.

A forensic pathologist later found that Mr Guo died from multiple injuries.

Coroner Bay said that following this incident, it may be prudent to observe the Ministry of Manpower's workplace safety and health guidelines for workplace traffic safety management.

Citing several recommendations, he said: "Drivers should park their vehicles at clearly designated parking places. Parking areas should be level, firm, well lit...and clearly marked.

"Drivers should ensure that their vehicles are properly parked with all brakes engaged, engines turned off...(and) starter keys removed."