The incident, in which an 86-year-old man was killed, took place in North Ayrshire, Scotland after a lorry with no driver rolled down the street at speed before colliding with a parked car.
This second vehicle was then shunted forward, hitting three other cars and trapping the pensioner underneath. Despite police and fire crews arriving on the scene to assist, the man died before they were able to free him.
While the lorry and four cars sustained significant damage in the collision, no one else was injured.
The police have urged witnesses to come forward with any information on the incident; the Health and Safety Executive has also been informed.
This latest runaway vehicle-related tragedy follows a number of similar incidents this year. In February, 55-year-old Catherine Bonner died when a runaway coal lorry smashed into the wall of her ground-floor flat in the Scottish village of Fairlie, trapping her under heavy rubble; her husband and pet dog escaped with minor injuries.
In April, a Yorkshire mother-of-four was crushed to death trying to protect her three children from a runaway van as they walked home from school. Shabana Ahmed, 46, was struck after diving in front of her three young daughters outside the Madina Academy in Dewsbury.
The vehicle, a Ford Transit Connect van, rolled 30 yards down the steep road outside the Academy before colliding with Ms Ahmed and her daughters. Ms Ahmed was pronounced dead at the scene, while her 10-year-old daughter Kiran was also seriously injured. Five-year-old daughter Mariam was also hurt while Maria, aged eight, escaped uninjured.
As tragedies such as these drive home the very real dangers connected with vehicle use, Vision Techniques is urging customers to do all they can to ensure that their own fleet poses as minimal a risk to members of the public – and their own staff – as possible. Vision Techniques has developed a new system that offers businesses a new level of security for their commercial vehicles: the revolutionary VT Ident™.
Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), VT Ident™ is a personnel tag-based vehicle security and control system that prevents unauthorised access to vehicles and their various applications.
Andy Eccles from Vision Techniques explains how the system works:
“We’ve designed VT Ident™ to be a really intuitive system – easy to tailor to your company’s individual needs. The system comprises a cab control unit and driver tag reader, which is fitted in the cab of the vehicle, while drivers get personnel tags to wear, each one with a unique ID.
“These tags give wearers the authority to access the various parts of a vehicle, such as the ignition, the brakes and any equipment present on the vehicle. In this way, VT Ident™ can negate the risk of brake failure, and prevent unauthorised individuals from starting, moving or tampering with the vehicle or its applications.”
By implementing a system that helps to secure a fleet and prevent tragedy caused by human error, companies can do their part in making their workplaces – and wider communities – safer places to be.