Deeping St James man died after car fell on him

Stamford Town Hall
Stamford Town Hall
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A car enthusiast died after the vehicle he was working under fell on him when the scissor jack holding it up slipped.

An inquest into Stephen Koczka’s death heard his chest was compressed and he was asphyxiated when the Saab 95 fell on him because the jack had not been placed in the recommended spot.

At the inquest into the 45-year-old’s death at Stamford Town Hall yesterday, Lincolnshire Police’s vehicle investigations officer John Kidals urged anyone working under cars not to rely on jacks alone and to “ensure the vehicle is always properly supported by axle stands”.

South Lincolnshire Coroner Professor Robert Forrest said: “Stephen was going to change the brakes on his car himself: he had jacked the car up and unfortunately placed it in not quite the position the manual suggests.

“He was trying to undo bolts to allow him to release the break pads.

“It seems that while he was doing this the car slipped off the jack and collapsed on him compressing the upper part of his chest. This would have rapidly led to his death.”

The inquest heard Mr Koczka had been working in his drive at Bryony Way, in Deeping St James, on May 1 when the accident happened.

Zoe Williams, from Market Deeping, told the inquest she was going to a friend’s at 3pm, but could not find the house and had stopped to ask a man who was under a silver car when “it suddenly registered”.

She tried to lift the car, which weighed 930 kilos, up but couldn’t.

She ran to a friend, who called the ambulance and alerted neighbours.

Prof Forrest said: “Neighbours tried to jack the vehicle up to help and paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but it would not have been successful as in my view he had died some time before.”

He recorded a verdict of accidental death.