Probe after man dies in van horror

Police and ambulances at the scene of the incident in Cromwell Street

Police and ambulances at the scene of the incident in Cromwell Street

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A PENSIONER was killed after he was trapped underneath a van in a horror accident on an industrial estate.

The 74-year-old man is believed to have been working beneath the vehicle outside units off Cromwell Street, in Hartlepool, before the alarm was raised.

Paramedics from the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) tried to save his life after landing in a helicopter on a neighbouring builders’ yard at 11.15am yesterday.

They resuscitated him but struggled to keep him alive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two police cars, a police van and two road ambulances had also hurried to the site. Police were initially treating the incident as an industrial accident and informed the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the crash.

But that changed after the HSE said they would make “preliminary inquiries” into what had happened and it was ruled their involvement was not needed.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called to an incident where a 74-year-old man died. This was initially thought to have been an industrial incident for the HSE, but that is no longer the case.

“We can confirm there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding this man’s death.”

Jane Peacock, a paramedic who was part of the GNAA team who tried to save the man, said: “We attended with a doctor on board and did all we could to save this gentleman’s life, but sadly he died.

“Due to an ongoing investigation we can not say any more at this time.”

The North East Ambulance Service confirmed their medics were also called to the scene and took only two minutes to arrive.

A spokeswoman added: “This was a very fast response but the man was pronounced dead.”

Both Cromwell Street and adjoining Lynn Street are full of businesses ranging from car mechanics to wood sales.

Workers were getting on with their trades as normal when the helicopter came down and left many confused and shocked.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said: “I saw the helicopter come across and it got closer and closer then was almost on top of us. Lots of police were there as well.

“We had no idea what was happening but you could see something bad was going on straight away. We just kept out the way and let them do what they do.”