Scaffolder died after falling over holiday park handrail while flicking cigarette away

Warren Millington lost his balance while flicking away a cigarette (Image: Cornwall Live/BPM Media)

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A scaffolder fell to his death after leaning too far over a holiday park handrail while flicking a cigarette away, an inquest heard.

Warren Millington, 50, was visiting Sun Valley Holiday Park in Pentewan, Cornwall.

He fell 6ft in the early hours of September 1 last year, Cornwall Live reports.

An inquest at New County Hall in Truro on Monday heard Mr Millington, from Walsall, West Midlands, suffered a broken neck and a "devastating brain injury".

His wife Jane told the hearing: "We had a day out in Padstow and returned to the campsite that evening and spent some time with family chatting and having a few drinks.

"Warren went to let the dog out and we were both on the decking. I opened the door to let the dog back up onto the decking.

"I shut the gate, but as I turned around I saw Warren lift his right arm to flick his cigarette, whilst his left hand was on the handrail.

"Warren overbalanced or his left hand slipped causing him to fall over the railing, falling onto his head and neck.

"I called to my family to help and also to dial 999.

"The police and ambulance service treated him and took him to Royal Cornwall Hospital where he was cared for."

The family said they had no issues with the medical care at the scene or hospital and that it was a "tragic accident".

The family enjoyed a day out in Padstow before returning to the camp when the accident happened
(Image: Google)

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Warren had been drinking during the evening but wasn't drunk, according to Jane.

Jane said: "Initially I thought he was messing around when he didn't answer me. I went running to him and that was when I realised he wasn't."

Andrew Cox, assistant coroner for Cornwall, recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Mr Cox said: "They had been out for the evening on Sunday, August 30, into the early hours of Monday, September 1.

"On the return to the home, where they were staying, Mr Millington went out to have a late cigarette.

"He was seen by his wife to try and flick the cigarette butt away from where they were staying and as he did that he lost his balance and appears to have fallen over a low handrail.

"There is a drop of approximately 6ft from the top of the handrail and it seems that tragically Mr Millington has landed on his head or his neck and as a consequence he suffered a significant neck injury, which has caused a fracture of the C2 level and in turn that has led to both a respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest.

"As a consequence of that there has been no blood circulating around the body and what has transpired is Mr Millington's brain has been deprived of oxygen and he has suffered what's been described as a hypoxic brain injury.

"This cause of death has been described by the doctors who saw him as 1A) hypoxic brain injury due to 1B) an out of hospital cardiac arrest caused by 1C) a traumatic injury to the cervical spine, and I'm going
to accept that cause of death.

"The only thing that remains me to do is to record a conclusion. It seems to me Mr Millington was out on the decking area deliberately having a cigarette and intentionally he decided to flick the cigarette butt away.

"He hasn't anticipated or intended that would result in him losing his balance and falling over the handrail, so we have a deliberate act with an unintended outcome, that sits squarely with a coronial conclusion of an accidental death."