Man died after being crushed by his Mercedes while he was working on it
A man died after being crushed by his Mercedes while he was working on it, an inquest heard. Krzysztof Nowak, from Stockport, was working under the car – which had been lifted by a jack – when it ‘fell on top of him’. The vehicle crushed his chest and he ‘couldn’t breathe’, Stockport Coroners’ Court heard.
The 36-year-old forklift truck driver, who the court was told had amphetamines in his system, was using a scissor jack when he carried out the work in a car park. It is the type of jack used for changing tyres – not to hold up the car while work is carried out underneath. “The type of jack being used was inappropriate for the task being taken, particularly due to the uneven surface,” coroner Alison Mutch said.
Mr Nowak, who was born in Poland, died on March 22 following the incident at a car park on Wellington Road South.
Stockport Coroners Court (Image: stockport)
His friends, who lived nearby, found him and saw the ‘car was on his chest and his lips were blue’. They tried to free him, but they were unable to and they alerted the emergency services.
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The inquest heard from Mr Nowak’s partner Margo Redis, who had known him for around five years. They moved in together in February. The day before he died, Ms Redis said Mr Nowak seemed ‘his general self’.
She said he was a ‘kind person’ and a ‘very hard worker’. The pair went to bed and Mr Nowak left in the morning. He carried out the work in the car park of his former home, where his friends still live.
She said he had a ‘professional jack’ he used on her car the day before he died, but it was broken.
Coroner Alison Mutch (Image: M.E.N.)
A toxicology report found there was ‘evidence of recent use of amphetamine… which may have had a detrimental effect on his cognitive behaviour’. It is not believed it ‘directly caused his death, but it affected his judgement’. The coroner said it was ‘a contributing factor’.
“He may not have realised the error with the jack,” Ms Mutch added.
A pathologist recorded the cause of death as ‘asphyxiation due to a crush injury’ and ‘use of amphetamine’. Ms Mutch concluded Mr Nowak’s death was accidental. She said: “He was usually a hardworking man who kept himself busy.
He was working on his car. It was something he did all the time. “He would have usually used a different type of jack.
For reasons we don’t know, when he went to work on the car he used one of these jacks meant for changing a tyre, not working under the car. “The jack has not held the car as it should have held it, the car has come down on him, and it compressed his chest, he wasn’t able to breathe. The compression on the chest, that led to asphyxiation.
He has died as a result of that.” Addressing Ms Redis, Ms Mutch said: “You were so close to him, that’s why he moved in with you. You were building a life together.”
Ms Redi paid tribute to Mr Nowak following the inquest. The 31-year-old, also from Poland, said: “He was a very kind person – he would take care of me. We loved each other.
“He was a very hard worker. His family is going to miss him, and my daughter Nadia. I can’t believe it, for a few days it was shock.
He was the only person I had here (in Stockport), I am alone.”
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