Camper dies from carbon monoxide poisoning due to generator outside


A camper died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator left running next to his tent, an inquest heard.

Camper dies from carbon monoxide poisoning due to generator outside

Tragic Richard Philips, 38, left the petrol motor running to keep warm during the night but was overcome by fumes as he slept.

His friends only realised he was dead when they were unable to rouse him the next morning.

Now his devastated wife Piney, 39, a teaching assistant, has warned others of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

She said: ”The generator was not inside the tent, it was outside but near the door. All of the circumstances seemed to be against Richard.

”If the wind had not been blowing so strongly or if it had been blowing stronger then it would probably have been blown away.

”It was a large eight man tent and Richard was an experienced camper. He had slept in the tent with the same set up the previous night and he was fine.”

Tragedy struck as carpet fitter Richard attended a motorcross event at Farleigh Castle Estate in Hungerford, Somerset, last September with three friends.

He had been racing motorbikes since the age of six and was teaching his two children Lewis, 16 and Elliot, 11, the sport.

Richard had retired early to their eight-man tent to prepare himself as he was due to complete on his specially-adapted 1989 Honda 125 bike the next morning.

His friends returned later that evening to find the generator on and turned it off but Richard told them to stop ”joking around” and put it back on again to keep warm.

They turned the generator – which had been placed outside by the entrance to the tent – off again 30 minutes later and shouted good night to Richard, but he failed to reply.

Camper dies from carbon monoxide poisoning due to generator outside

His body was discovered in his room in the tent the next morning.

Richard’s wife and sons arrived at the estate two days later expecting to see Richard race but were instead met with his distressed friends who broke the heartbreaking news that he had died in the night.

His death on September 18 was a complete mystery to his friends and family until a post-mortem examination revealed high levels of carbon monoxide in his blood.

Coroner Tony Williams recorded a verdict of accidental death at an inquest into Richard’s death on Wednesday at Wells Town Hall in Somerset.

He said a ”unique set of circumstances” combined to cause his death.

Piney added: ”He was just a fabulous man. He was 38 years old and they always say they take the best first.

”He was a brilliant husband and could never do enough to help anyone. He had huge ability and was an awesome rider.

”If I could just save one person by talking about Richard and his death then it will be worth it.

”I would urge anyone, be it girl guides, festival goers or motorcross riders to just think twice about where they are placing the generator and how close it is to where they are going to be.”

Verdict: Accidental Death


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