Grieving widow’s statement read out at mine death inquest

A FRAMED photo of Wayne Robert MacDonald was positioned on a table not far from his grieving widow.

Pam MacDonald had prepared a statement to read at the end of the two-day coronial inquest into the death of her husband, who was killed while changing a tyre at Foxleigh Mine on December 18, 2010.

Mrs MacDonald said her husband was "let down by his employers", Brisbane company LCR, with whom he'd been employed as a truck operator for four years.

Overcome with emotion, she was unable to continue.

So her words were read by a woman who was there for support because she understands better than most the heartbreak Mrs MacDonald feels - Rachel Blee.

Her husband, Jason Blee, died in April 2007 after he was pinned to a wall by a shuttle car at Moranbah North underground coal mine.

"Wayne was hard-working, nothing was too much trouble, he loved life and he was my life," the statement read.

"The pain and hurt I've have to deal with and (am) still dealing with cannot be put into words and I just hope it doesn't take another fatality for changes to continue.

"If something good has to come out of all of this for those who work in the industry, then I feel Wayne's life has not been wasted."

The replacement tyre ruptured, in what was called a "zipper failure", while Mr MacDonald was still underneath the trailer.

Witnesses questioned about the correct inflation pressure of a trailer tyre gave varied answers, ranging from 100psi to 144psi. An under-inflated or overloaded tyre could compromise its integrity, the inquest was told.

On closing the inquest Central Queensland Coroner David O'Connell asked the four interested parties - Dunlop, Anglo American, LCR and the CFMEU - to submit agreed recommendations by June 20.

He will give his findings on a date to be set.


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