Man died after fall from ladder while helping friend cut trees, inquest hears

A 67-year-old man died of severe head injuries after he fell from a height while cutting trees.

Man died after fall from ladder while helping friend cut trees, inquest hears

By Louise Roseingrave

A 67-year-old man died of severe head injuries after he fell from a height while cutting trees.

William Connor, originally from Co Mayo but living in Clonskeagh, Dublin 14 was helping a friend when he died.

The accident happened at Farmleigh Avenue in Stillorgan, Co Dublin on February 17, 2017 as Mr Connor was cutting back trees in his friend’s yard, Dublin Coroner’s Court heard.

Mr Connor was experienced at the task of cutting trees and was confident in doing so, Coroner Dr Crona Gallagher said.

“He was in good health, he was fit, active and hard-working,” the coroner said.

He was performing a task he was experienced at and he was confident doing it.

Mr Connor fell from the ladder into an inaccessible area between a shed and the neighbours boundary, the court heard. It is not known what caused him to lose his balance and fall.

Emergency services were called but Mr Connor was pronouced dead at the scene at 2.50pm.

Garda Claire Jackman informed the Health and Safety Authority but no report was conducted as the task was a favour between friends and there was no employer-employee relationship, the court heard.

Garda Jackman investigated the incident and she found nothing suspicious.

In a medical report supplied by the man’s GP Dr Peter Staunton, Mr Connor was described as in ‘good physical condition’ overall.

The GP expressed his shock at his patient’s sudden demise.

A post mortem was conducted at St Colmcille’s Hospital by pathologist Dr Susan Aherne.

The autopsy found the man had suffered a severe laceration to the scalp which caused extensive blood loss. He sustained cuts and bruises to the face, neck, arms, shoulders and back along with multiple rib fractures and a fractured skull.

The cause of death was given as a severe head injuries due to a fall from a height.

The autopsy revealed the man had 70% narrowing of the arteries but the coroner was unable to verify if the fall was connected to a cardiac event.

“I have no proof something didn’t happen from a cardiac point of view. It is possible there was some kind of medical event that caused his collapse but I really cannot clarify any further,” Dr Gallagher said, returning a verdict of accidental death.

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