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Article from Northampton Mercury dated Friday 13 January 1899
Fatal Accident - A Dangerous Practice Condemned, 1899

Coal trolley
A Coal Trolley, similar to that used by William Northern

Mr J. T. Parker, the Divisional Coroner, held an enquiry at the Duke's Arms Inn, Burton Latimer on Saturday evening, relative to the death of a lad named George Cook, who was killed through being run over by a coal trolley in that parish on the preceding day. - Mr W.J. Gross was chosen foreman for the jury, and the following evidence was taken:

William Cook, an insurance agent, living in Burton Latimer: Formally identified the body as that of his son, George Cook, who was ten years old last September.

William Northern, coal dealer, Burton Latimer: Stated that on Friday morning he was following his usual employment of drawing coal and whilst he went into the house to get some papers, the deceased climbed onto his coal trolley. Deceased had the reins in his hands and witness walked by the side of the trolley, deceased riding and holding the reins. Deceased went with the witness to the station and after loading up with coal they returned to the direction of the village. Witness noticed that deceased was riding on the shaft and took him off. When they reached the wide street off Station Road, witness looked round when he had gone some distance up the street, and saw deceased standing where he had left him. Witness proceeded but suddenly heard a cry. "Stop, a boy's under the wheel". Witness at once stopped and found the deceased lying on his back with right side against the wheel. Witness took deceased into a house occupied by Mr Braines and after doing what he could, witness fetched Mr Gross Jun. who was an ambulance man. Witness would not have known that deceased was under the wheel had someone not shouted out. Deceased had frequently been with witness to the station, and on other journeys, as he was a great friend of witness. Witness never took any other lads but the deceased with him on journeys.

William Line, carter, living in Duke Street, Burton Latimer: Stated that at about 10.40 on Friday morning, he was in Station Road. He saw that Mr Northern's cart turned up the side street, and deceased following behind. When witness next saw deceased he was hanging in front of the dray. Deceased suddenly dropped in front of the wheel, which pushed deceased in front of the vehicle. Witness called to Mr Northern, who was leading the horse, but before he could stop the wheel was upon the deceased. The horse was only going at walking pace and Mr Northern at once backed trolley off deceased. Mr Northern picked deceased up and carried him into a house.

Herbert Burland, surgeon, Finedon: Mr Burland stated that he received a telegram calling him to Burton Latimer to see the deceased. When witness reached Burton deceased had not been brought home, but was subsequently brought on a stretcher. Deceaseds left leg was fractured in two places, while he had been severely crushed on the right side. Deceased was in such a state of collapse that witness considered some internal injuries had been inflicted with internal haemorrhage. Deceased was only just conscious and complained of pains on right side. Witness advised the parents to send for their usual medical attendant, but deceased died before Dr Price of Kettering arrived. Witness thought the fracture of the leg was caused by a sudden twist. There were no marks of the limb having been run over.

A map of Burton Latimer form 1900 showing the site of the accident

The father, recalled to stand, said deceased died about two o'clock in the afternoon. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death", and expressed their sympathy with the friends of the deceased. The jury foreman remarked that this sad accident might be a caution to others, for several lads were frequently in the habit of riding upon the shafts of vehicles about this parish.

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