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I DRIVER CENSURED I I AT SWANSEA INQUEST. SEQUEL TO CLEANERS DEATH. I he shocking circumstances surrounding the death ot a L. and N.\Y Railway em- j\e, Griiffth John Davi-es, engine cleaner, i 16. of 82, Argylt-street, wire the sub- ject of the Swansea Borough Coroner's ir,- quiry at the Police Station on Monday afternoon. Richard Lituteii.-t-let,. Beach-place, Oystei mouth-road. foreman cleaner, .sai/i that on Friday last deceased started work at 6 a.m. cleaning engine 1421. and d 9.45 a.m. met with the accident. A copy of rules was produced forbidding any hut authorised persons to move i,ti engine in steam \vith- ():U t first b [ oN- out first having blown the whistle and warned t-i;ase so authorised to iirst ascertain that no engine cleaners were working on an engine about to be moved. Another related to the instruction given that any cieaner engaged on an engine about to be moved should be first warned care taken to see that, such warning was hear Witness heard no whistle sounded on this occasion, but might not have heard it on account of the fact that several engines were under steam. The work of cleaning the engine had not been completed when it was moved, but engines frequently were kept under steam whilst cleaning was in progress. It was the driver's or fireman's business to see that due warning was given. There were six persons m ail engaged in cleaning this particular engine, tnd those on the scene when witness arrived testified to the fact that there were "targets" (used as signals) on 1421. Who- moved them he could not ascertain. The "target" on this occasion was fixed near the lamp bracket on the buffer-plank, but if it had been placed on top of the smoke-box it would be directly in the line of sight of the driver. Both places, however, were equally proper. Dr. Ldgar Reid spoke to examining de- ceased There were fractured nbs on the right side, and evidence of the internal parts* of the abdomen being crushed. De- ceased died from shock. The assistant foreman. John Powell, 1, Sloane-stieet, gave evidence, and said he arrived on the scene at 10 a.m., and inter- viewed the five cleaners, who definitely ,L:d L:¡t the'" target \i on the en- gine after the occurrence of the accident. Alfred Lewis, Clarence-terrace, senior cleaner, said that deceased himself pl-jced the "target" on the engine, and agreed that it was the practice for the senior cleaner to be responsible for the putting on and taking off of "targets." At 9.50 John Morris (driver) and Joseph Griffiths (fireman) were to take out the engine, and arrived at about 9.50, in ample time to observe tha.t they a.s cleaners were engaged on it. The Coroner What were they doing dur- ing the quarter of an hour? Witness: It isn't for me to say. The Coroner: But it is for you to say. Witness: I saw them get on tha footplate of the engine. Proceeding, witness stated that two of them were engaged on the boiler and two beneath, the latter being deceased and a man named Finney. He (witness) W¡li' on the engine when it moved, though the "target" was on. He heard a whistle, and the engine moved almost "mmediately. No warning apart from this was given witness, though the driver a.nd firem m may have shouted, and he could not have heard thetri *,lie locomotive was blowing off steam. With his experience, the Driver should have known this. By Mr. Hilditch There was plenty of time f6r decmsed to get out of danger be- tween--the biov.Itig of the whistle and the starting of the engine providing such warn- ing was heard. In addition to blowing his whistle and shouting, what would you expect the driver to do?" asked the (oroner. Witness Come around. ¡ The Coroner This is the rule?—Yes. Was it done on this occasion?—>To. Was it the probable reason that the driver i only wanted to iiiove a couple of yards in order to have his ashpan cleaned out?— Yes. Edwin Rogers, Woodvilie-road, Mumbles, another of the cleaners, agreed that the target was on when the engine was moved. J.eonaid nibian. 2, Baptist Well-place, another cleaner, with 18 months' experience, said he heard deceased scream, and shouted out "Stop there'.1; someone in the motion." The engine then stopped. Harold Finney, Langdon-place, was en gaged cleaning underneath the engine, and was aware of the fact that deceased was also i there. When the whistle blew witness ?ca.Ued out, Look out!" but he could not 'sav whether deceased heard him. Witness?, saw no sign given from the engine-driver or the fireman. Brinley John Leaker, 6. Gelli-strt, the last of the cleaners, also corroborated in re- gard to the target being on. Charles F. Morgan. 54. Bathurst-street, heard a shou?, Is all clear?" before the! engine started, though in his opinion the j fetter way would have been to look out over the side and see that all was clear. He assisted the fireman in extricating deceased from the workings. It was the driver him- self who started t,he engine, but witness did not notice the presence of the target. The fmmaII of the engine 1421 was then called, Joseph Griffiths, 175, Port Tennant, who said he was mounting the sfep of his engine when it was moved by his mate (the driver) after he (witness) hid distinctly heard the shout R .glit I*' Later he heard a ery proeeding from the front part cf the engine and immediately shouted Stop I Upon examination he found deceased in the motion. He was got out and expired almost immediately. Witness had no idea as to Who gave the order Right!" I but he heard it nevertheless. As to the tar- I get, after attending the deceased he saw it was not there. What he did see was that there were two lamps on the socketand with tho lamps there the target could not have been placed in its proper position. The Coroner Who put the lamps there? Witness Morgan, I should think. Coroner Did you put lamps there Mor- gan?—Yes. sir. Why didn t you say so before. Mr. Rowlands Could the lamps and tar- get be there at the s,i.rne time? Coroner Both couldn't be there. Mr. Rowlands (addressing Morgan) re- peated his question and sonjtfewhat of a stir was caused by Morgan fainting. Each of the five cleaners was interrogated a.s to the presence of the lamps and all :d- mitt:jd seeing them. The witness. Griffiths, here explained that it was essential for sig- nalling purposes that the lamps should be in position and it was his business to see them there. Morgan was here interrogated as to how he could be in an\ doubt as to the presence of a target when he placed the lamps iu the position in which they were found, but no amwer was forthcoming. Continuing. Griftlths said that his would not be a complete train without a lamp at the rear and one in front, but on this oc- casion there were two in front and none at the back. The Coroner Can you account for Mor- gan. with his experience, making such n mis- take ?—No. Mr. Row lands You heard someone shout Right? "—Yes. It was one of the cleaners who ;ohóuted ?-- Yes. You heard them all deny shouting?— Yes. i Then One is a liar? 1 Levi Thomas, 16, Chirpnnx'tt-n?e, the I ashpan man, spoke to telling the driver that he came to rake the ashpan out and ivant?ed the engine moved on. but did nrjt hear the Bight!" referred to by the previous wit- j ness. I The driver, John Morris., 42. Vincent- sureet, was then called, and after due warn- ing elected to give evidence. He proceeded to relate how he went into his engine after the request of the previous witness, sounded his whistle, looked out over the cab and shouted, "Look out, 1421; all clear!" and then crossed over and looked out the other side, receiving a chorus of replies, "All right from which he deduced that every- thing was clear. He then moved the en- gine gently ahead about a yard or less. Suddenly he heard a shout of W;hoa Whoa there's somebody in the motion." He saw nothing of the target, although he could have seen it had it been in its proper position, and he did 1 x>k. Referring to the rule providing that individual warning must be given to all those engaged about the en- gine, and an acknowledgment of such warn- ing received from each one, witness admitted not having fulfilled this, nor the one which said that the responsibility for moving an engine without first having ;uscertained that no person then engaged upon it rested with the person moving the engine. He was satisfied with the replies of "All right and a statement of Thomas' s to that effect of Let's get a move on." Mr. Williams Is it always practicable to follow all the rules as laid down?—No, I should require an hour or so to do every- thing. Not knowing all the cla riers I thought the best security was to have their assurance. The Coroner, summing up, said the cause of death wa.s clear. The jury's materia] question was whether there was sufficient negligence to justify a verdict of man- slaughter. He certainly thought the evi- dence against the driver was worthy of seri- ous consideration. Another witness was here called, Alfred Williams, of Shrewsbury, another L. and X.W. R. driver, who was at the sheds when the engine was moved and who testified to his shouting to the fireman of 1421 not to -w 1 move the engine since there was a hoy in the motion. The fireman responded with a nod of acknowledgment. Tho jury retired to consider their verdict, and on their return the Foreman (Mr. W. H. Jones) announced their decision as follows Death due to shock following injuries re- ceived. and found John Morris guilty of culpable negligence, insufficient to justify a Terdict of manslaughter, but calling for se- vere censure. The Coroner said 11 e thought the jury had taken a Very lenient view ot the matter. Jiorrjs should not haw <rone about his work in such a reckless manner and trusted that lie would never do so in future. Youth could not be pleaded, and undoubtedly he was very much to blame. He considered Morris very fortunate in the view the iurv had taken. < Sympathy was expressed by Mr. Tandy on behalf cf the railway company and Mr. Wil- liam.^ on behalf of the N,p.n. The inquest lasted seven and a half hours.




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