A scaffolder from the West Midlands has died after accidentally falling over a handrail at a holiday park in Cornwall.
Warren Millington, 50, was visiting Sun Valley Holiday Park in Pentewan near St Austell. He died after he flicked his cigarette, lost his balance and fell six feet in the early hours of 1 September.
An inquest in Truro heard Mr Millington, from Walsall, suffered a broken neck and a "devastating brain injury".His wife, Jane, told the hearing: "We had a day out in Padstow and returned to the campsite that evening and spent some time with family chatting and having a few drinks.
"Warren went to let the dog out and we were both on the decking. I opened the door to let the dog back up onto the decking."I shut the gate but, as I turned around, I saw Warren lift his right arm to flick his cigarette, whilst his left hand was on the handrail."Warren overbalanced or his left hand slipped, causing him to fall over the railing, falling onto his head and neck."I called to my family to help and also to dial 999."The police and ambulance service treated him and took him to Royal Cornwall Hospital where he was cared for."
The family said they had no issues with the care he received either at the scene or at the hospital and that it was a "tragic accident".Jane said Warren had been drinking during the evening but wasn't drunk.Jane said: "Initially I thought he was messing around when he didn't answer me. I went running to him and that was when I realised he wasn't."
The court recorded a conclusion of accidental death.Assistant Coroner Andrew Cox said: "There is a drop of approximately six feet from the top of the handrail and it seems that tragically Mr Millington has landed on his head or his neck. As a consequence, he suffered a significant neck injury, which has caused a fracture of the C2 level and in turn that has led to both a respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest."As a consequence of that there has been no blood circulating around the body and what has transpired is Mr Millington's brain has been deprived of oxygen and he has suffered what's been described as a hypoxic brain injury.
"It seems to me Mr Millington was out on the decking area deliberately having a cigarette and intentionally he decided to flick the cigarette butt away."He hasn't anticipated or intended that would result in him losing his balance and falling over the handrail, so we have a deliberate act with an unintended outcome, that sits squarely with a coronial conclusion of an accidental death."Mr Cox added: "I'm very sorry that we've met in these circumstances. This just appears to be the most dreadful accident, it must have been the most awful shock to you and belatedly I would like to offer the family my condolences for the loss you have suffered."