An inquest has been told that a collision between a car and quad bike caused damage to a London restaurant months before a piece of falling masonry killed a man, who was drinking there with friends.
North Westminster Coroner's Court heard that Peter Westropp died in front of his friends at the terrace area of Le Bouchon Bordelais, a French restaurant and bar in Battersea, on 10 August last year. He had suffered head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The inquest heard that the restaurant had been damaged in March that year after a quad bike and a council-owned Ford Galaxy collided, reports the London Evening Standard.
The restaurant's glass doors were removed after the crash and a panel above the door was cracked, the inquest was told.
Ehamparam Sasikndarajah, a senior building control officer at Wandsworth Council, told the inquest that his inspection showed the damage to the building was not an "immediate danger to the public".
The inquest also heard that rusty metal ties which held ornamental stones to the front of the 130-year-old building could have contributed to the falling masonry.
Witnesses to the incident, including Westropp's friends, have described the horror of seeing him be killed.
Le Bouchon Bordelais waitress Marian Tanjala said she was inside the restaurant when she heard a noise and saw people rush towards the terrace outside. She said: "He Westropp] was bleeding. He was over a chair or table but we couldn't move him. I knew he was still alive because I was looking at him and he was breathing."
However, Westropp was pronounced dead at the scene, the inquest heard.
The inquest before Deputy Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe continues.
By Caterer News
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