Tributes paid to Northamptonshire man who died after trying to stop his car rolling down drive

Northampton General Hospital NNL-150303-115714001
Northampton General Hospital NNL-150303-115714001

The father of a 35-year-old man who died after his own car rolled over him on his drive has paid tribute to his son.

Ross Fitzgibbon, aged 35,was confirmed dead on February 24 this year at his home in Nursery Close, Maidwell.

His father, Thomas, told an inquest held today, Wednesday August 5 at Northampton General Hospital, that on Monday February 23 his son left for work in his Mitsubishi Colt as normal and was expected home at about 6pm.

He said: “He never came in. I stayed up waiting for him to 1am but the front door never opened.

“I went to bed. When I woke up I looked out to see Ross’s car parked at the end of the drive, not at the top next to mine as usual.”

Firefighters called to the scene found Ross’s body under the car. He had died from asphyxiation.

Thomas Fitzgibbon told the inquest he never heard a car pull up, and due to the lack of outside lighting he did not see the car on the drive that night.

A neighbour told the inquest they came home on the Monday evening and noticed the car parked oddly at the end of the drive, and that it was in the same spot when they left for work the morning after.

PC Jon Hoddle, an accident investigator, told the inquest that the drive sloped slightly down towards the road. There were no faults found with the car.

He said tests carried out with the car on the drive showed if the hand brake was partially applied the car would start rolling after a few seconds – long enough for Ross to get out before it started moving.

PC Hoddle said there were marks on the rear of the vehicle consistent with Ross attempting to stop the rolling vehicle.

Ross’s father Thomas described his son as loyal and honest with a quick wit and dry sense of humour. After his death he discovered Ross had been writing a satirical political blog that had been well received online.

County coroner Anne Pember said: “From what I’ve heard it would appear that somehow the hand brake had only been partially applied, which then caused the vehicle to roll back. Ross had tried to stop it and the car rolled over him.”

She recorded a verdict of accidental death.