Fatal Wobble – Elderly Miner Killed By Trolley ‘Bus – Denaby Accident.

May 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 01 May 1931

Fatal Wobble

Elderly Miner Killed By Trolley ‘Bus.

Denaby Accident.

The death of a miner, Joseph Stained, aged 60, in the Fullerton Hospital, Denaby, on Saturday morning, from injuries camped by his being knocked down by a trackless trolley ‘bus near the Denaby Main Hotel on Friday night, was inquired into by Mr. W. B. Carlile and a jury on Tuesday.

Beatrice Simpson, wife of Thomas Simpson, 80, Loversal Street, Denaby, daughter of Stainrod, said Stainrod went out with her about 8-30 on Friday evening. Stainrod was quite sober. Her husband was sober when he returned between 10-30 and 11 p.m.

Only Two Pints.

Thomas Simpson, labourer, said he and his father-in-law were at the Red Lion Hotel about three-quarters of an hour. They had two pints of beer each. They were both sober when they left at ten o’clock. They travelled by trackless from Brook Square to the Denaby Main Hotel. He got off first. “I can’t tell you what happened after that. Before I could turn round be (Stainrod) was under the car. He seemed to be wedged against the hind wheel.” He heard someone shout to the driver to stop and he had to back for them to get Stainrod out. Two men carried Stainrod on to the pavement and Dr. Ford was fetched. Stainrod was removed to the Hospital.

The Coroner: Are you quite sure you were perfectly sober? Oh yes, I only had two pints. What drinks had you had before that?— None. I was at work.

Do you know if he had had any?—l cannot say.

He was able to walk properly?—Yes.

You remember seeing the policeman when you got off ?—Yes.

If he says you could not walk steadily, what do you say to that?—Well, I remember him taking me across the road and asking me his (Stainrod’s) name and age and that.

Mr. H. S. Houldsworth (for the Mexboro’ and Swinton Traction Company): Had deceased had a fall previously that evening? —No.

Were his clothes muddy?—No.

Do you remember the conductor asking you to see your father-in-law safely home, when you got off the car?—She did not say that at all. She came to me after the accident and said, “Why didn’t you help him and I said it was her place to wait while the passengers got out. Witness added that he did not actually see Stainrod alight and did not hear the bell rung for the car to re-start. He was quite sure it was the back-wheel Stainrod lay beside when the car pulled up.

Wobbled and Fell.

Charles Allen, colliery fitter, 80, Tickhill Street, Denaby, said he was walking past the Denaby Main Hotel when the accident occurred. He saw the two men get off the trackless. Stainrod was assisted off by the conductor. She saw them both safely on the pavement. As she was remounting the step to ring the car off, Stainrod walked towards the front of the car, wobbled sideways, then fell in front of the car. At the moment he fell the bell rang and the car started. Witness shouted ‘Whoa! Get back!” The driver instantly stopped and reversed the motor. The car had travelled only about two feet. Stainrod fell exactly in front of the near side front wheel. As the conductor helped Stainrod off, witness heard her ask the other man to take hold of him and take him home.

The Coroner: Did you form any opinion as to the condition of either of the men?— I thought they were both drunk.

Did the man who got off first seem able to walk all right?—He didn’t seem as bad as the older man.

Allen said it was impossible for either the conductor or the driver to be aware that Stainrod was lying there, when they started the car.

Thomas Minaher, miner, 17, Washington Street, Mexborough, said he travelled on the same car and saw Stainrod and Simpson. The conductor told them when they reached the Denaby Main Hotel. She assisted the second man off and the two men walked off in the same direction as the car was going. The next thing he knew was that the car started, there was a shout, they hit something and the car immediately stopped again. He thought the two men had had some drink.

The Coroner: Why did you think that?— Well, the conductor doesn’t usually assist men off the car.

Otherwise you didn’t notice anything unusual about either of the men?—No.

Under The Influence of Drink.

Doris May Peace, 3, Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh, the conductor of the car, said they left Brook Square at 10- 25 p.m. and among the passengers were Stainrod and Simpson, who were under the influence of drink. Stainrod appeared to show evidence of a fall. His clothes were muddy. She had occasion to speak to them about their behaviour on the car. When they reached the Denaby Main Hotel the younger man alighted first and she assisted Stainrod down the steps. She asked Simpson to take care of him and see him safely home. She left them together and returned up the steps and rang the car off. The car stood about a yard and a half from the pavement, and she could not say whether both men were on the pavement when she left them. She looked to see they were clear before ringing the bell. When the car started and immediately stopped again, she got down and saw Stainrod lying across the road in front of the car, his feet towards the kerb. She considered Stainrod very much under the influence of drink, because he could not sit up straight in the car. Simpson had had some drink but “knew what he was doing.”

Albert Bailey, 11. Kilnhurst Road, Rawmarsh, driver of the car, said he noticed the two men get on at Brook Square, because they pulled him up just after he had started. They seemed to stagger as they walked off the pavement to get into the car. When the car was re-started at the Denaby Main Hotel it did not move more than a yard. He immediately reversed, and when he got out saw the man lying just in front of the car.

P.c. Howarth said he was travelling by the 10-30 ‘bus from Doncaster to Denaby and opposite the Denaby Main Hotel his attention was drawn by the conductor of the ‘bus to a crowd. He got out and saw Stainrod lying about three yards in front of the first trackless car. He was breathing but seemed unconscious. He made him comfortable and sent for Dr. Ford, who arrived in about five minutes and ordered Stainrod’s removal to Hospital. Simpson stood in the crowd and went up to witness. He complained that conductors usually rang the car off before passengers got clear, but he did not say that the conductor did so in this instance. He was under the influence of drink. His speech was thick and his manner very excited.

Dr. Ford said Stainrod had a big bruise in the lower part of the body and died in the Hospital early on Saturday morning. Death was due to shock following severe internal injuries. The condition of the body did not indicate that the car had passed over him. It had just squeezed him. He would not pass any opinion as to whether Stainrod had had drink. It was very difficult to pass such an opinion after a man had been hurt.

No Negligence.

The Coroner said it was not very material for the jury’s purpose whether Stainrod was under the influence of drink or not when the accident happened. There did not appear to be any evidence of negligence on anyone’s part in the case.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” and attached no blame to the driver or conductor.