Garage man tragically killed trying to stop runaway car

George Wilson

The late George Wilson

A COURT has heard how staff at a Lisnaskea car dealership discovered a father-of-two curled up under a runaway car which crushed him to death.

George Wilson, 51, died in December last year when he became trapped under a car which he had run after as it began to roll towards an embankment at Monaghan Bros Garage.


CCTV images of the moments just before he was killed was shown at his inquest. Mr Wilson, a car valet at the garage, could be seen stumbling as he ran back to try and catch up with the Hyundai Getz which he had just parked.

The 2.2 degree of decline caused the car to set in motion and travelled at around 4mph.
He left the car locked, with the hand  brake off and the gear in neutral in what was described as “a moment’s inadvertence”.

The inquest heard that the car would have picked up greater speed before making contact with the chain fence, which may have slowed it down.

He was found underneath, hunched on all fours after he had moved to the front of the car to stop it and the vehicle pushed over the embankment and the car went over him.

Coroner John Leckey stated that it was a moment’s inadvertence by Mr Wilson.

“I’m sure it was a great shock to see the car moving towards the slope and he felt he had to help the situation,” he added.

His wife Jennifer told the inquest that he was in great form on the morning of his death and was planning on what he was going to do with his daughters that night as he was baby-sitting.


Glenn Phair, who works as a mechanic at Monaghan Bros, explained that there were no problems with the car’s brakes.

John Armitage, who co-owns Monaghan Bros, explained that he opened the store shortly before 8.30am and Mr Wilson arrived at work some ten minutes later.

Around round 20 minutes later another employee, Gareth, came in to the store and asked what happened the car.

“I went up to the car and it was locked and looked in through the window and the hand brake was off. Frank went to get a rope and pulled the car back and it was Gareth that shouted ‘Jesus, George is there’”.

Mr Wilson had worked there for eight years and was an experienced and valued employee, the inquest heard.

Ross Farrell, manager of the parts department, recalled the moments he found his work colleague under the car: “He was lying on the ground curled up.

“I checked for a pulse, he was still warm but there was no pulse. I started CPR until an officer arrived with a defibrillator. I have known him for the last 20 years, he’s a friend of my father.”

Constable Mark Chambers said: “You can understand he was in a state of shock when he saw it rolling down a hill.

“It was a tragic accident and I know how much it has effected his family and his wife.”

Mr Leckey said his death was caused by asphyxia associated with multiple rib fractures.

“Death in those circumstances is likely to be very rapid, probably within a few minutes,” the pathologist concluded.

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