Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Thursday 19 June 1890
Fatal Result of Carelessness At Denaby Main.
Yesterday, at the George and Dragon lnn, Mexborough, Mr. D. Wightman presided over inquiry touching the death John George Aston, aged 15, a pony driver employed at Denaby Main Colliery, who died the previous day from the effects of injuries received on the 11th while working in the pit.
Mr. Jas. Mellors, H.M. Inspector cf Mines, watched the inquiry, and Mr. W. H. Chambers, manager, was present on behalf of the company.
The deceased’s father, identified the body, and said his son had worked at the colliery about eight months. He did not think the accident would have happened if iron lockers had been supplied the deceased instead of wooden ones. On cross-examination, however, he admitted that he had frequently seen, during 11 years’ connection with the colliery, both iron and wooden lockers lying about.
Joseph Bailey another pony driver, said that he was going up the passage with train full corves when the deceased was coming down with two empty ones. They were on the wrong road, however, and soon dashed into the full corves. Deceased was in front trying to stop them, and when the collision occurred he was jammed and very much hurt. Witness did not think that the empty corves were locked either a wooden or iron locker would have done what was necessary, and if deceased had been a big boy like witness he would have been able to hold the corves while 77 and nine you are he turned them on to the empty road. Not having a locker in, however, he could not stop the corves and turn the points ‘ as he should have done. Witness did not care much which he had, wooden or iron lockers.
Cyrus Schofield, day deputy, said that when arrived the scene he asked deceased what had caused the empty corves to get the wrong road. He answered that his locker had broken. Witness made a minute search, but could not find a locker, either broken or whole, which the deceased could have used. He was of opinion that deceased did not a locker, and that opinion was confirmed when he began crying being asked about it at the hospital. This was the first day that deceased had worked in that particular place, but had been pony driver eight months. There were seven lockers, three iron and four wooden, within easy reach of deceased if he had wanted one.
The Coroner remarked that the poor lad seemed to have contributed to his own death, and a verdict of “Accidentally killed ” was returned.