3:50pm Friday 20th July 2012
By Ben James & William Metcalfe
A mechanic who was changing the tyre on a coach was crushed to death when the jack collapsed.
Daniel Haffenden, who was in his early 40s, died when the Shearings coach fell on top of him in Eastbourne yesterday (July 19)
Friends spoke of their devastation last night, describing their pal as a “top bloke” and “good friend”.
He is believed to have been married with three children.
It is understood that Mr Haffenden was called out to change the tyre on a coach parked outside the Majestic Hotel in Royal Parade.
A nearby business owner, who asked not to be named, said Mr Haffenden was working under the vehicle when the jack collapsed.
Ambulance, police and fire crews all arrived shortly after 10.40am.
Minutes later the air ambulance was also scrambled and landed just metres away on Eastbourne beach.
But despite the efforts of emergency crews Mr Haffenden died at the scene.
A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance, said: “We were called following reports of a man sustaining serious injuries while working on a coach.
"He consequently suffered a cardiac arrest and despite our best efforts he died at the scene.”
Paul White, who works as an ice cream vendor on the seafront, said: “There were a lot of emergency vehicles and the police closed off the road.
“Until then I didn’t realise there was anything going on.
“I didn’t hear a crash but I looked out and there were a lot of police around.
“Later on a private ambulance arrived and took him away.”
On his website, Mr Haffenden describes his company as a “single man and van” who “provide fleet management services as well as fitting and roadside breakdown support”.
Dave Hunnisett, steward of the Eastbourne Working Men’s Club, said: “He was a smashing bloke and used to come in here now and again.
“He was experienced at what he did and it just sounds like a tragic accident.
“I mean what can you say when something like this happens? It’s just terrible.”
A police spokeswoman said the Health and Safety Executive was investigating the death.
She added: “Sadly now the man has been pronounced dead and his next of kin have been informed.”
Did you know Mr Haffenden? To pay tribute email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 544536.
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