Jury retires in inquest of Prodem demolition worker's death in High Road Tottenham

Haringey Independent: North London Coroner’s Court has heard over the two-day inquest that Mr Crossan strayed into a hazardous ‘drop zone’ moments before he was hit by the pillar North London Coroner’s Court has heard over the two-day inquest that Mr Crossan strayed into a hazardous ‘drop zone’ moments before he was hit by the pillar

A jury has retired to consider their conclusions over the death of a demolition worker who was fatally crushed at a site in Tottenham.

Laurence Crossan suffered catastrophic head and chest injuries when was he was hit by a concrete pillar whilst labouring at 811 High Road on October 29, 2012.

The 25-year-old plant machine operator was working as a labourer for demolition firm Prodem at the former Canon rubber factory on the day, sorting metal and glass from the rubble on the floor of the site.

North London Coroner’s Court has heard over the two-day inquest that Mr Crossan strayed into a hazardous ‘drop zone’ moments before he was hit by the pillar.

Summing up for the jury this morning, on the third day of the hearing, Coroner Andrew Walker said: “It is important you don’t speculate what the reason was for Mr Crossan moving. There is no evidence why he moved from a place of safety to a place of danger.

“The witnesses have been asked about this point, but they can’t put themselves in the mind of Laurence Crossan, and neither must you.”

The jury had previously heard how Mr Crossan was one of three men working on the site that day, as well as his brother Stephen and the site foreman Donald Anderson.

Mr Anderson was operating a ‘muncher’ machine, breaking up concrete on one side of the building.

Stephen Crossan was on the other side of the building in a similar machine moving the debris, whilst Laurence was on foot sifting the materials.

On Wednesday, the court heard from  Mr Anderson, who explained he called over to Laurence and told  him to stay where he was as the building was about to come down.

Laurence passed the message on to his brother, who turned off his machine and reached to get his cigarettes.

But as he did so, he noticed Laurence had strayed into the danger zone. As he tried to call him back, the building came down on top of Laurence, who died in hospital less than two days later.

The site manager and site foreman all gave evidence that correct safet measures were in place, and the Health and Safety Executive opted against any criminal proceedings following its own investigation.

The jury has been asked to conclude the sequence of events leading up to Mr Crossan’s death and give either an open conclusion, or one of an accident.

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