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Man, 40, suffered 'devastating brain injury' after street fall - inquest

Matt Kelly, from Accrington, fell on an uneven pavement outside a garage

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Matt Kelly, 40, from Accrington, who died on February 18, 2018, after falling outside a petrol station.

A man who fell outside a petrol station died after suffering a ‘devastating brain injury’, an inquest heard.

Matt Kelly, 40, of Hodder Street, Accrington, had been out drinking on February 17 this year and fell on an ‘uneven’ pavement outside the Tesco Express garage on Abbey Street.

The former Holy Family Secondary School pupil was found lying in the road unresponsive by a passing police officer and his condition ‘started to deteriorate rapidly’ as he was taken to hospital, Blackburn Coroners Court heard.

The inquest heard how paramedics arrived at the scene 11 minutes after the 999 call was made and initially believed it to be a ‘simple intoxicated fall’.

However they ‘quickly realised something was out of the ordinary’ when Mr Kelly was found to be ‘deeply unresponsive’, the hearing was told.

A CT scan showed that the railway industry machine operator had an ‘extensive bleed on the brain’ and experts believed his injury was ‘non-survivable’.

Dr Peter McDermott, critical care consultant at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said: “It was clear the following morning that he had sustained a devastating brain injury and the family were advised.”

Mr Kelly passed away later on February 18.

The inquest heard how police conducted enquiries and ‘couldn’t find anything suspicious’.

Tributes left outside the Accrington Tesco Express and Esso Garage following the death of Matt Kelly.

Pathologist Dr Al Mudaffer said the cause of death was ‘traumatic brain injury’.

In a statement read out at the inquest, he said: “It seems he had been taking a drink during the day. He had also maybe more importantly had an existing knee injury having dislocated it in November 2017 which could make him unsteady on his feet.

“It was noted that the pavement where he fell was a little uneven.

“There was a number of hours between the time of the fall and his passing away and so the toxicology is of little value.

“It’s not possible to say what was in his system at the time of his fall.”

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Coroner Richard Taylor recorded a conclusion of accident death. He said: “There’s nothing in the evidence to suggest that this is anything other than an accidental death. There is no evidence of anything suspicious happening.

“It’s idle to speculate but one knows not whether the injury to his knee which caused him to be a little more unsteady on his feet could have contributed towards that fall.”