A popular young man ‘so full of things to live for’ died after being crushed by a car, an inquest heard today (September 20).
Described by his mother as having a ‘heart of gold’, 21-year-old Jordan Lucken left behind a fiancée who he lived with in Pevensey Bay.
He was a mechanic and loved to fix up bangers for racing at Arlington Stadium.
Tragically he died in New Barn Farm, off Station Road in Hailsham on April 11 this year. Medical teams rushed to the scene but sadly, despite their best efforts, were unable to save him.
A post mortem found he was unable to breathe due to his chest being compressed beneath the heavy metal car engine, the inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall heard.
The convertible BMW, Jordan’s own car, was being held up by a hoist and seat belt, and he had been working underneath it.
Witness Stewart Mitchell said there had been a prop underneath the car but it had been removed.
He said, “I heard him trying to do something, the next thing I knew that was it, it went.”
The inquest then heard from vehicle examiner William Holden, who said the hoist being used was able to take up to one tonne of weight – which the car approximately weighed.
However, he said, “It was on the maximum lift capacity of 500kg at the time of examination.”
He added, “The hoist itself wasn’t well maintained, but that wouldn’t be unusual, it’s a working environment.
“There’s a lot of factors involved,” he said, “The hoist wasn’t on a flat surface, it’s likely it wasn’t on the correct attachment for lifting the engine.
“It doesn’t look like the safety procedures have been complied with. The weight setting on the hoist was 500kg, the weight of that vehicle was 1,485kg – that’s one and a half tonnes.
“It was in excess of the weight it would have been about to lift in a good condition.”
He said the seat belt ‘could have slipped and unravelled’, leading to the car’s collapse.
Coroner Catharine Palmer said, “The equipment wasn’t suitable. The seat belt in all probability did slip and sadly without warning that car toppled on top of Jordan and he didn’t have a chance to get out from underneath it.
“This must have been a great shock to lose a young man so full of things to live for. Hopefully those boys working with him may learn from this to take extra care.”
She concluded he died from misadventure.