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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Tragic accident claims life of 55-year-old father

A DECISION to have something to eat when he arrived home after a night out, proved a fatal one for Sellafield security guard Brian O’Hare. The 55-year-old father died from choking when a piece of food got stuck in his windpipe.

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Tragedy: Brian O’Hare (right) pictured with his son Thomas

By Margaret Crosby

Mr O’Hare, a widower, of Headlands Drive, Hillcrest, was pronounced dead at West Cumberland Hospital on February 14 after attempts to save him failed.

West Cumbria coroner David Roberts heard from Brian’s 22-year-old son, Thomas, that the two of them had returned home at around 10pm after a social visit with relatives and while he went to bed, as he had work in the morning, his father stayed up to have something to eat.

Thomas had been asleep and woken up by his father entering the bedroom clutching his throat; he fell to his knees and collapsed. Thomas tried to help him and summoned help - an ambulance and his auntie and uncle who lived across the road. The ambulance came quickly but all efforts were to no avail.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Mr O’Hare, who had formerly worked on patient transport with the ambulance service, had died from choking. He had previously been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which he controlled with medication and he was also being treated for blood pressure.

Thomas said his father was “a lively, outgoing and funny family man.” Thomas’s mother Patricia had died in 2000 and he had a stepsister Jessica and step-brother David. The son of Arthur and Jean O’Hare of Whitehaven, Brian had been educated at St Begh’s Primary and Whitehaven Grammar School. Brothers Alan, Colin and Barry O’Hare, and sisters Lorraine and Deborah all attended the inquest, held at Cockermouth on Monday (July 7).

Coroner Mr Roberts found that Mr O’Hare had died as a result of an accident “an unintended consequence of eating an ordinary meal”.

He told family: “It is just one of those tragic accidents that you can’t do anything about. I am sure everyone did their level best on that night. He had got some food lodged in his oesophagus and his trachea, it blocked his airway and despite the intervention of his son, family and paramedics, it had not been possible to reverse the effects of that choking episode when food had gone down the wrong way.”

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