The tragic death of a 22-year-old Daventry refuse collector who was crushed by a recycling truck during his shift was accidental, the jury at a Northampton inquest has concluded.
Kane Beard was part of a four-man crew collecting recycling boxes on the morning of April 8, 2016 when he was in collision with the vehicle shortly before 9.45 on Ashby Road at its junction with Langdon Close.
While acting as banksman for the truck driver, Mr Beard lost his balance after slipping or tripping on an undetermined object and fell into the path of the vehicle.
"No words can describe the pain, heartache and emptiness Kane's death left," said Jane Nixon, Mr Beard's mother.
"He had his whole life ahead of him.
"His family and friends have all been left completely devastated by his death.
"Every one of us who knew him will treasure our memories of him."
The inquest heard how Mr Beard was walking about an arm's length alongside the recycling truck as it was reversing south on Ashby Road.
Statements from the fellow crew members were read out in court, and all said that no-one was to blame for the tragic accident.
Professor Guy Rutty, who carried out the post-mortem examination, listed the cause of death as severe head injuries sustained in a road traffic incident.
Mr Beard was working for Daventry District Council's waste and recycling contractor Amey at the time of the accident.
The authority and the company held a minute silence in his memory which council chief executive Ian Vincent said was "a mark of respect for Kane" who he described as "a popular member of our local community".
A jury was called to rule on Mr Beard’s death because the accident happened while he was at work.
"In the process of carrying out his day-to-day he has slipped and fallen under the refuse truck," concluded the jury.