Doting granddad killed in front of wife and grandchildren when concrete block fell off lorry and smashed through windscreen near Worksop
The family of a man who died when a block of concrete fell on to his car from a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction have described the horrifying moment their lives changed forever in an instant.
Steven Oscroft was taking his two grandchildren out strawberry picking in Ollerton when the incident happened in Netherfield Lane, in Perlethorpe cum Budby.
The 60-year-old, from Shirebrook, who was described as a 'doting granddad', had wanted to seize an opportunity for a family day out during the easing of lockdown measures on July 7 last year.
He died instantly when the concrete smashed through the windscreen of his Hyundai IX35 while his wife and two grandchildren who were also in the car were unharmed.
An inquest heard the lorry's load of building materials was not properly secured when the rock hit Mr Oscroft's car as it overtook them.
His widow, Denise Oscroft, said: "What I'd seen that day and what my grandchildren had seen, it must have been terrible for them. That's all I keep thinking about - what those kids have seen.
"One minute we're just taking the grandchildren out strawberry picking and we went for ice cream and then just like that... our lives had changed forever."
His daughters, Becky Marsh and Kelly Kirby, were called straight to the scene by their mum.
Becky said: "She just said: he's gone, but it wasn't mum, it was like she wasn't there, she was in shock.
"I looked at the car and saw there was a huge hole in it and I just went running shouting dad because I just didn't believe it was true."
Kelly added: "It was like an out of body experience, we couldn't believe it was happening to us. And I still think it's an out of body experience, I don't think we'll ever get used to life without dad."
A 64-year-old man was arrested shortly afterwards on suspicion of dangerous driving and released without charge after Nottinghamshire's serious collision investigation concluded there were no offences against the driver or the haulage company in question. The case then was then directed to the Nottinghamshire Coroner’s office.
On Tuesday, May 4, the inquest determined that Mr Oscroft died as a result of a road traffic collision after a piece of concrete fell from an uncovered part of a lorry from Paul Wainwright Construction Services, of Hucknall.
Assistant Coroner for Nottinghamshire Mr Gordon Clow also said he would be preparing a Preventing Future deaths report and would be requiring Wainwrights to supply evidence that actions are being taken.
Mr Oscroft had been rendered completely powerless to prevent his death but his family believe these incidents should not have happened and want to see stricter rules for drivers and companies which carry loads along with tougher penalties for breaking them.
They also encourage drivers to have a dash-cam fitted.
Detective Sergeant Adam Cooper said: "The family have just been remarkable considering what they have gone through.
"They've been so strong and supportive to the investigation and they are really trying to make a difference to unsafe loads so that this doesn't happen again.
"Our enquiries along with the coroner's conclusion cements that Mr Oscroft's death could have been prevented and perhaps that might serve as some comfort to his loved ones.”