Dodd, George

Dodd, George      1918 May 3rd        Broughton

Pony Trap Overturns

Man Thrown Under the Wheels of a Lorry

The story of how a man driving a pony attached to a trap was thrown under the wheels of a passing lorry near Broughton, and sustained injuries which caused his death, was related at an inquest held at the Salisbury Infirmary on Monday evening by the City Coroner (Mr A M Wilson). The victim was George Dodd, a game keeper, of Lockerly Hall, 75 years of age. Mr W J Saunders was elected foreman of the jury.

Mr F Trethowan represented the driver of the lorry.

Evidence of identification was given by Henry Lyons, a labourer, employed by a shipping firm at Southampton, who said that Dodd was his father-in-law. He last saw him alive on April 20th, when he was in good health and spirits. He had a two-wheel trap and a pony which he used to drive in connection with his work, and he was a good and careful driver. On Saturday he received a message that Dodd had met with an accident near Broughton, and he went to the village, where he heard his father-in-law had been removed to Salisbury Infirmary.

The driver of the lorry, Tom Earley, said he was leaving Broughton about 1.10pm on Saturday for Romsey. When turning the bend in the road he saw Dodd driving towards him about 60 yards away. He was in the narrowest part of the road and he put on more steam to get to a wider part so that they could more easily pass. He then slowed down to a mile an hour and the horse was walking. The trap passed the lorry and then mounted the steep bank, and he heard a crash. The engine of the lorry stopped of its own accord, and he got down and saw Dodd was under the lorry. The off hind wheel had passed over the front foot of the horse, and its head was doubled up close to the wing of the wheel. He sent his mate Hillier for help. Dodd was sensible, but all he said was, “My poor leg. Don’t tell my wife.”

The Coroner : You don’t know whether the trap touched your lorry? I did not see it.

Were you right on the bank? Part of the double tyre was on the turf.

In reply to other questions, he declared that the sudden jar of the lorry coming in contact with the horse’s leg and neck at that slow speed would possibly have stopped the engine, particularly as it was on an incline. The only way he could account for the accident was that the trap overturned and threw Dodd under the lorry. The horse showed no signs of being restive, but it was shot afterwards because of injuries it received.

A Juryman : If the man had stopped driving would it have avoided an accident If Dodd had stopped there would have plenty of room for me to pass.

PC Fudge, stationed at Broughton, said that when he arrived he noticed that Dodd’s leg was broken and that he was bruised about the head. The pony was still on the ground with its fore leg under the wheel, and broken and skinned up to its knees. The head was doubled up with its nose pointing back over its shoulder, and the leg was broken and the hoof torn off. The lorry was as close into the bank as it could possibly get. There was a mark of a wheel on the bank, but it was not high enough, in his opinion, to upset the trap. The road was 15 feet wide, the lorry 7 feet 6 inches wide, the trap 5 feet 3 inches, leaving 2 feet 3 inches for the vehicles to pass.

The Foreman : You are satisfied from the position of the lorry that the driver did everything in his power? Yes, because for some distance before they met the tyre cut down the grass along the bank.


The House Surgeon at the Infirmary said Dodd was suffering from fracture of the base of the skull, with fractured ribs on both sides of the chest and compound fracture of the leg. He died at 6am on Sunday morning, and death was due to shock following the fractures sustained.

After the Coroner had briefly summed up, the Foreman said the death was Accidental as the driver seemed to have done everything in his power to avoid it, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly.

Mr Trethowan expressed the driver’s very deep regret for the accident.


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