A Corby man died after being crushed underneath his own car, an inquest has found.
Scott McKimmie, 39, died in the early hours of February 18 this year in a car park outside the Phoenix pub in Beanfield Avenue in the town.
An inquest held at Kettering Magistrates Court this morning (Thursday, August 28) heard father-of-two Mr McKimmie had suffered 36 separate injuries when he was struck by the vehicle.
Mr McKimmie’s car, a purple Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, would only start if wires were connected underneath the bonnet with the ignition switched on, the car in gear and the handbrake applied, a police collision investigation expert said.
However, on the night of Mr McKimmie’s death he had not applied the handbrake, so when he reached underneath the bonnet to touch the wires together the vehicle lurched forward, knocking him over.
It continued to move forward, trapping Mr McKimmie underneath.
He died at the scene of crush asphyxia, according to Leicester Royal Infirmary pathologist Dr Mike Biggs.
Collision investigator PC Brian Johnson told the hearing: “The Volkswagen travelled across the car park area, moved some unknown distance, colliding with then running over its owner.
“The parking brake was not operated and it was in gear, causing it to lurch forward when Mr McKimmie started it.”
The car’s engine had been modified to run at about 1,000 rpm when idle in order to lower the risk of it stalling – which would have required the driver to have got out of the vehicle to restart the engine.
But PC Johnson said that modification also meant the car would move forward and not stall when it was in first, second or third gear, as demonstrated in a police investigation video shown to the court.
Coroner Anne Pember, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, said: “It’s quite clear that the cause of this tragedy was the unusual starting method Mr McKimmie used to start his car.”