Inquest hears how ‘wonderful’ dad died

Darren Morley
Darren Morley

A WIGAN bus driver died after getting trapped by the neck between his vehicle’s folding doors.

An inquest heard how a dog walker made the grim discovery of 50-year-old Darren Morley’s body – and the tragedy was caught on camera.

On-board CCTV footage, which has not as yet been screened to jurors, is said to show that one of the two passenger doors did not close after the last of his customers had alighted and so Mr Morley, who was parked up on Lockett Road, Bryn, got out of his cab to investigate.

Coroner Jennifer Leeming said the film then showed the doors close on the Marsh Green father of four.

It was at around 6.30pm on October 9 when when passer-by Amanda Bowdler came across the Stagecoach bus and its collapsed driver.

She told Bolton Coroner’s Court: “I saw a bus parked up in the lay-by. All the lights were on but the driver wasn’t sitting in his seat and I knew something was wrong. I have seen buses parked there before.

“I went past and doubled backed and that’s when I saw Mr Morley trapped in the doors of the bus.

“His head and his hands were trapped outside the bus and his body was inside. He showed no signs of life.

“I ran in the middle of the road and flagged a lorry driver down. He felt Mr Morley’s neck and thought he was dead.”

Mrs Bowdler and the lorry driver – who has not since been identified – then spotted another man, Anthony Morris, across the road who they asked to call for an ambulance.

Consultant forensic pathologist Dr Naomi Carter, who examined Mr Morley on October 10, gave the cause of his death as compression of the neck.

She explained how this can result in “compression of the air passage, stimulation of nerves and cuts off blood.”

Dr Carter described how Mr Morley had grazes to his neck consistent with injuries obtained from the doors as well as injuries to his forearms and bruising to his legs, indicating how he had tried to get free before he died.

Mr Morley’s partner, Angela Connor, paid tribute to him through a statement read out by the coroner, describing him as a devoted father.

She said he was “family-orientated” and “happy” and “provided for all his family through hard work and did whatever needed to provide for them financially and emotionally.”

Mrs Connor told how he had gained employment with First buses, which later went on to become Stagecoach, in 2005 and “thoroughly enjoyed his job and was highly regarded by his employers.”

She went on to describe how she spent the night before Mr Morley’s tragic death with him at their Kitt Green Road home watching television and last saw him at 6am the next day as she left for work.

She said: “Unfortunately later that evening the police attended to inform me that Darren had passed away and I later became aware that he had become trapped in the doors in Bryn.

“Darren will be missed by all who came to know him, especially me, his children, his family and his friends.

“He was a wonderful person. I’m devastated by his death and wonder how I will cope.”