A transport company has been fined after a lorry driver who had worked for them for just two weeks was crushed to death by a pallet of tiles in High Wycombe.

Petru Pop, an agency driver, was unloading a Reason Transport UK Ltd HGV in Fraser Road on November 23, 2016, when a pallet of tiles fell on him.

An air ambulance and South Central Ambulance Service were called to help at the scene as horrified neighbours watched on, but Mr Pop tragically died at the scene aged 52.

Police cordoned off the road as a blue tent was put up at the back of the lorry.

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Wycombe Magistrates' Court heard on Friday that Mr Pop was carrying out a delivery on behalf of the company, dropping off a pallet of stone tiles using a tail-lift and a pallet truck.

He spent several minutes struggling to lift and manoeuvre the pallet onto the the truck's tail-lift.

When he finally managed to get the pallet on the lift, he lost control of it and it fell on top of him, causing fatal crush injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) started an investigation into Mr Pop's death and found that the weight of the pallet was recorded as 1,200kg - but the actual weight was more than 1,400kg.

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The weight was well over the 1,000kg weight limit set by the pallet network for tail-lift deliveries.

The investigation also found that the driver had worked for the company for two weeks and had not received any training for the safe delivery of pallets using a tail-lift.

Oxfordshire-based Reason Transport UK Ltd, which is now in liquidation as of October 2017, pleaded guilty to breach the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £5,000 by magistrates on October 16.

They were also ordered to pay costs of £170 to fund victim services. No other costs were ordered because the company is not trading and has no assets.

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After the hearing HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to provide training to this agency worker on the safe delivery of pallets from a vehicle with a tail-lift.

“Transport companies should be aware of the importance of identifying and managing the risks involved with delivering heavy loads and the need to adequately train new staff before undertaking such deliveries.”

At the time, shocked neighbours laid flowers and tributes for Mr Pop and told the Bucks Free Press his death had had a lasting effect on those who lived in the street.

One told reporters she had spoken to Mr Pop just 20 minutes before he died and described the "gut-wrenching" moment she had found out what had happened to him.

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She said: "The sad thing was, he was literally parked right outside my house. At about 20 to 11 I went to leave for work and he was blocking my drive. He let me out and we had a little bit of a chat.

“It wasn’t until the next day that I realised. People kept asking me at work what had happened. I came home from work and saw the flowers and I realised it was him, it was just awful."

A spokesman for Reason Transport Ltd said: “The fine announced relates to Oxfordshire-based Reason Transport UK Ltd, which ceased trading in 2017 due to issues with the viability and scale of the delivery areas within the Palletways network.

"This tragic accident was due to the industry wide issue of inaccurate labelling of pallet weights, leading to the handling of an overweight pallet.

"Our thoughts are with the driver’s family and we fully support industry wide efforts to ensure that pallet weights are limited and accurately reported throughout the delivery process to protect all drivers in the UK.”