Carter, Isaac

Carter, Isaac           1888 June 9th        Stockton

Fatal Fall from a Tree

An inquiry was held at the Infirmary on Monday morning by Mr G Smith (city coroner) touching the death of Isaac Carter, a laborer, who on Saturday fell from a tree at Stockton and broke his neck. Mr W Wells was chosen foreman of the jury.

William Wilson, head gardener to Mr George Ashley Dodd, of Stockton House (in whose employ the deceased was) said that he saw he deceased at seven o’clock on Saturday morning. Deceased had ordinary work in the garden to do. Witness gave him directions to get into a tree in order to remove a broken branch, and was present when he did so. He saw him fall. Deceased stood on a couple of little branches, the branch he had hold of snapped a little and witness fancied that he lost his nerve. The height of the branch from the ground was 23ft. A doctor (Dr Chadwick) was at once sent for and he sent him to the Infirmary. The distance from Stockton to Salisbury was about 12 miles. Deceased was brought to the Infirmary in a spring van. He was not dead when sent from Stockton. The doctor said there might be a chance and sent him to the Infirmary. Deceased waved his wife good-bye on the way and said that he should not see her again. When the deceased fell from the tree it was about eight o’clock. The deceased was a steady man.

John Axford, who lives at Codford, said he was at work on Saturday with the deceased at Stockton House. Deceased was permanently employed there about two years. He was a married man. Witness was present when he was in the tree. He was on the ground tying a line round the tree to swing the broken limb. Witness saw deceased falling. He pitched on a limb of the tree before touching the ground. At the time he fell he was standing on a large limb – not a dead one. Witness did not hear him speak at all. Deceased fell to the ground on his head and turned over on to his back. He had been accustomed to do such work as that in which he was engaged at the time of the accident. He was a steady man. Witness lifted his head up after he fell and deceased said, “O dear! I’m done,” Deceased was taken into Mr Wilson’s office and a doctor was sent for. The doctor examined him. He said he could not do a lot to him then ; he was going down the village for about an hour and he would come back again. On his return he ordered him to be removed to the Infirmary. Deceased had a boy, whose age was, witness should think, about 13. He had no little children.

A Juryman : Do you mean to tell us that Dr Chadwick examined this man and left him without ordering his immediate removal to the Infirmary.

Witness : He left him for an hour.

The Juryman : So much for Dr Chadwick.

Another Juryman : We shall have to send for him.

The Coroner : We don’t know what his motive was.

A Juryman : He had examined the man and then left him and he must have known what condition he was in.

Levi Stephenson Luckham, house surgeon at the Infirmary, said the deceased was brought about one o’clock. He saw him in the cart. He saw that he was dead and had him removed to the mortuary. He had not long been dead. Witness thought that he died outside Salisbury. Witness examined the deceased and found a bruise on the forehead and another on the back of the neck. On further examination he found that some of the vertebrae were fractured. He had no doubt that death was die to injury to the spinal cord.

John Davis said that he came in with the deceased on Saturday, as did also another young man and deceased’s wife. The deceased spoke. He had hold of witness’s hand and also his wife’s, and he said, “Good bye, God bless you both ; I’m going now.” Whilst coming through Stapleford he spoke to his wife again, but witness did not know what he said. He did not speak afterwards. Witness first discovered that he was dead when between Stapleford and Stoford.

Supt Mathews stated that the widow of the deceased informed him that the age of the latter was 38.

A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.

Mr Wells suggested that it would be well to have a window inserted in the mortuary of the Infirmary which could be opened if necessary, and another juryman observed that it (the affluvia presumably) was very obnoxious that morning. The Coroner stated that he would mention it to the Committee of Management.


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