Tributes to tragic bus driver as inquest closes

News story
News story

THE son and daughters of tragic Wigan bus driver Darren Morley have paid tribute to their father as an inquest into his death closed.

Kieron, Fallon and Courtney Morley attended Bolton Coronor’s Court as a jury returned a verdict of accidental death after three days of evidence as to how the 50-year-old (pictured) became trapped by his neck in his vehicle’s doors while parked up in Bryn.

Darren Morley

Darren Morley

After the hearing, Mr Morley’s children said: “He was a great dad and grandad. He was always up for a laugh and was brilliant to be around.

“He loved his family days such as Christmas and we have so many great memories of those days together and how we used to go for walks down the canal with him.

“He is missed by everyone. A friend who used to go in the same club as him says it’s a lot different now and not the same without him.

“He was a big kid at heart and whenever he played football with the kids he’d call himself “Super Morley”, that’s just how he was, totally carefree.

“He rarely ever got angry, he was just so laid-back and always said things how it was.”

The hearing, which concluded yesterday, heard how the Stagecoach driver was investigating a door that would not close on Lockett Lane on October 9 last year when it suddenly shut upon him.

An investigation found that the probable cause was that a rogue screw on the bus floor had prevented it from shutting. It was found that the locking nut on the door was not sufficiently tightened which resulted in its being lower than it should have been, thus trapping the screw.

It was also determined that the door was not the original one but had been put in before Stagecoach took over from First in 2012 and that the nut had come loose some time ago. The bus had passed an MOT examination as such a check is not required.

Mr Morley’s medical cause of death was given as “compression of the neck”. The jury took just over an hour to return its verdict.

Chris Bowles, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester and Wigan, said: “This was a tragedy that has been difficult to comprehend.

“Darren Morley was a hard-working and popular member at Wigan depot. Over the last 10 months, and especially during the last few days, the thoughts of our company and colleagues have been with Darren’s family and friends and the huge loss which they have suffered.

“We have assisted the authorities extensively and have listened carefully to the inquest proceedings. We have noted today’s verdict and will examine in detail the comments made by the coroner.”

Coroner Jennifer Leeming told how adaptations to the doors’ safety manual since his death include checks on the gap beneath the door and tightness of the locking nut.