Dog walker, 79, killed in freak accident by flying tyre that came off trailer

Peter Smith, 79, was walking his dog next to the busy A38 dual carriageway near Newton Abbot, Devon, when a livestock trailer being towed lost a wheel which slammed into his chest and killed him

Dog walker Peter Smith, 79, was killed by a tyre that disconnected from a trailer and hit him in the chest

A dog walker was killed by a tyre that flew off a trailer and slammed into his chest, an inquest heard.

Peter Smith, 79, was struck by the loose wheel while walking his pet next to the A38 near Newton Abbot, Devon, a coroner was told.

The Mitsubishi L200 was towing a livestock trailer which lost a wheel that crashed into the victim.

The widower was knocked unconscious and pronounced dead at the scene.

At his inquest in Plymouth on Wednesday coroner Andrew Cox gave a verdict of accidental death.

The trailer was being towed along the A38 in Devon (file photo)


Matt Gilley/Plymouth Live)

And during the hearing, he heard the wheel not been maintained or serviced for more than four years before the tragedy on the morning of 1 September last year.

This prompted calls to change the law, which currently does not require trailers of a certain size to be registered and have an MoT.

A member of Mr Smith’s family said: “I want to change this law as it’s not right.

“I don’t want the same thing to happen to anybody else.”

The inquest heard Mr Smith would regularly take his beloved German Shepherd on the same route.

In a statement, a witness recalled seeing the tyre fly through the air at speed before hitting Mr Smith in the chest and knocking him unconscious.

A later post mortem confirmed the cause of death was chest injuries.

The safety report carried out on the trailer found a number of faults and said it hadn’t been regularly maintained since 2006.

Mr Smith’s dog was also located at the scene and taken to be looked after by family.

Paying tribute at the time of his death, his family said: “Peter was a caring and devoted dad, granddad, friend and dog lover.

“He will leave a void in everyone’s life whom had the pleasure of knowing him.

“Matthew, Samantha and family would like to express their thanks to everyone for their continuing support during this unexpected time, especially to Devon and Cornwall Police for all they have done and are continuing to do.”

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