‘Engineer died when Land Rover rolled on top of him during repair work,’ inquest hears

Fairthorn Close, Tring, where Gary Barber died while trying to fix a Land Rover's handbrake - from Google Street View
Fairthorn Close, Tring, where Gary Barber died while trying to fix a Land Rover's handbrake - from Google Street View

A plumbing and central heating engineer was killed by his Land Rover when it rolled over him as he was trying to fix its handbrake, an inquest heard today.

Gary Barber, 46, of Fairthorn Close in Tring, is thought to have begun working on the car as it was parked on the sloped driveway of his cul-de-sac home on Wednesday, December 4.

A neighbour had seen a vehicle arriving there between 1.30pm and 2pm that day.

Mr Barber’s body was found beneath the car by his teaching assistant wife Sharon, who called 999 just after 4pm. Paramedics rushed to their home but Mr Barber was declared dead at 4.15pm.

Herts Coroners Court heard that a set of multiple pliers, a screwdriver and a torch were found near his body.

Forensic investigator PC Anthony Winter said: “The assumption is he was working on the handbrake at the time, which has possibly caused the vehicle to roll.”

A police examination of the car found that the handbrake was not working and that a cable in it had been adjusted.

Mr Winter said no bricks had been placed behind the wheels of the car to stop it rolling while Mr Barber is thought to have been underneath it.

The inquest heard that the vehicle was not in gear when police arrived, but work being done by Mr Barber may have caused it to come out of gear.

Verdict: accidental death.