Walsall man fell to his death flicking cigarette away at Cornwall caravan park

Warren Millington, known as Woz. Photo: Nick Irving, Irving of Exeter
Warren Millington, known as Woz. Photo: Nick Irving, Irving of Exeter

A Black Country holidaymaker died in a tragic accident which was triggered by him flicking away a cigarette end, an inquest heard.

Warren Millington, from Walsall, was standing on plastic decking at his static caravan in Cornwall, when he lost his balance as he flicked away the butt and toppled six feet on to a grass area.

The 50-year-old scaffolder landed on his head and broke his neck. It caused a heart attack and he died from starvation of oxygen to the brain.

An inquest held in Truro, in Cornwall, was told Mr Millington, who was known as Woz, was on holiday with his wife Jane and other family at the Sun Valley caravan park at Pentewan, near St Austell, last August.

Mrs Millington said he was a 'fit and active' man and they had returned from a night out enjoying some drinks.

He had gone onto the deck for a late night cigarette but as he flicked away the butt over the decking, Jane said he lost his balance and toppled over a three foot high hand rail. She said she thought he was 'smiling and joking' on the ground but quickly realised he was unconscious.

Family gave him CPR and called the emergency services who continued treating him at the scene before he was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital where he died later the same day.

Devastating

The coroner was told Woz, who lived in Leveson Avenue, Walsall, suffered a broken neck in the fall and a 'devastating brain injury'.

Jane told the coroner that Woz flicked the cigarette with one hand with his other hand on the rail. She said his hand may have slipped on the rail or his leg gave way and he lost his balance.

She said he had been drinking but was not drunk – and said it was a 'tragic accident'.

Police who aided him at the scene said he fell over the three foot high handrail and toppled six feet onto the grass area below the decking.

They said there were no suspicious circumstances and said his wife was 'very upset' and saying 'he is too young to die'.

The acting senior coroner for Cornwall, Andrew Cox, recorded an accidental death conclusion. He said Woz lost his balance as he flicked away the butt and described it was a 'most dreadful accident'.

At the time of his death, Jane said:"Woz, my world, my rock, taken from me by a freak accident. I am totally devastated and heartbroken that we will never live out our dreams together here in Pentewan. My love for you will never die."

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