Bury florist was crushed to death when giant gate fell on her, inquest hears

A Bury businesswoman was crushed to death by a giant metal gate at a business park after it toppled on top of her as she was unlocking it to go to work, an inquest heard.

Myra Goldman, 68, was on her way to her office when it was said that an entrance gate, which had been damaged six months ago, came loose and crashed onto her.

Mrs Goldman, who stood just 4ft 11in tall, was pinned down by the weight of the palisade gate and died at the scene from fatal crush injuries.

Passer-by Daniel Massey, who happened to be on the scene, told the Oldham inquest: ”I saw a large metal gate on the floor and what appeared to be an object underneath.

“As I approached the metal gate I could see a person underneath. I immediately thought the person was beyond help. I rang 999 and spoke to the operator.

”I returned to the car and waited for the paramedics and police to arrive. The gate was 8ft long and 6ft high and made of metal. I would not have been able to move it.”

The hearing was told the mother of three from Whitefield, Manchester had carried on working as a florist despite being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2011.

She set up her business in 1998 before moving to the Whitefield Business Centre where she shared a storage unit housing her flower company, Si Si Flowers, with a balloon company.

Away from work Mrs Goldman was described by her family as a ”devoted mother with strength and dignity” who also ran a 5k Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research.

The tragedy occurred at 10.30am on Sunday March 3 2013 when Mrs Goldman had arrived at the business park to complete an order for a customer in the Middle East.

Mrs Goldman’s husband of 40 years Cyril, 80, a retired shopkeeper said he had encountered trouble when he previously opened the gate himself when he went to the office with his wife.

Mr Goldman said: “Every day I opened the locking bar, slid the lock off and pushed the right hand gate to the wall and held it there.

“If you did not and turned your back it would come back at you. It had a habit of swinging back and closing itself.

“I found no resistance from the gate but as a small petite woman it was heavy and hard to push forward.”

Talking of his wife’s illness, Mr Goldman added: “She was unable to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

“The reason for that was that her lungs had deteriorated to such a degree that that form of treatment would not work. But she never complained. She wasn’t the type of person to moan. I think she was lying about the pain.”

Former site manager, Daniel Reilly, who was employed by owners of the site, Spaces & Place Ltd said: “I had previously opened the gate on occasion and experienced no problems.”

“The gate has only had one previous problem to the best of my knowledge. This was in the winter when the gate was scraping along the floor and the issue was raised with my boss and it was repaired.”

The inquest heard a new gate with more hinges which were larger had been fitted since Mrs Goldman’s death.

The owner of Spaces & Places Ltd, Timothy Churchill, said:  “I would like to express my utmost sorrow over the occurrence of this tragic incident.”

Story via Cavendish Press.

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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