A man who had gone under a car to steal a catalytic converter was crushed to death while attempting the theft. Daniel Stephens was found under the BMW, which had been parked in a car park in Cymmer in Wales. Sadly, by the time emergency services arrived on the scene, his body was already “cold and stiff” and he couldn’t be saved.
- Stephens’ death was tragic but completely unavoidable. Had he not been attempting to steal the car part, the 25-year-old would still be alive today. Stephens died after the jack he was using to hold the car up collapsed, crushing him.
- The car’s owner gave evidence at an inquiry. Russel Seldon said that when he went to get into his car, he saw Stephens’ legs coming out from under the car. “I walked across the street from my house to my car which was in the small car park opposite,” he said in a court statement. “I saw a pair of legs sticking out from under the car, wearing dark-colored bottoms and trainers. I called out and pulled on the person’s leg to see if they were okay, but there was no response.”
- Stephens’ friends spoke to his character in court. His friend, Aron Godfrey, said that Stephens was desperate for money for a court case he was part of in order to get more access to his kids. Godfrey said he told Stephens “not to do anything foolish” but said that he knew Stephens planned to steal a catalytic converter so he could sell it for around £500 ($690).
- His death was deemed an accidental one. Coroner Rachel Knight noted that toxicology reports did find low levels of Tramadol and alcohol in his blood but that his death was attributed to “crush asphyxia” and was accidental. She told his family: “It is evident he is greatly missed by many people.”