This was the shocking moment a grandmother was nearly killed after she strolled down a busy high street and was flattened – by a falling SHOP SIGN.
The 27-kilo sign broke free from the fascia of a Blue Mountain store and landed on Patricia Tutton’s head.
Patricia, 79, was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured cheekbone and spinal damage in the terrifying incident in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Three years on the company that fitted the heavy sign has been given just a police caution for their sloppy work.
OAP Patricia says her wounds wrecked her quality of life and have left her unable to drive and barely able to dress herself.
She said: “I can only remember walking down Market Street and the next thing I knew I was in hospital. I don’t remember anything else.
“Doctors told me that if the sign had fallen on a child it would have killed them.
“My face was black and blue, I had four fractures around my right eye, a cut on my eye and my head and quite a dent on my head. My spine has got a kink in it.”
Cornwall Council found that New Life Signs Installations Limited, of Swindon, Wilts, had not fulfilled its basic duty of care to the public.
Its investigators found that the sign had been poorly fitted and the fixings used to attach it to the store’s flimsy MDF frontage were inadequate.
The firm was due to be prosecuted last week at Bodmin Magistrates Court but bosses agreed to accept a caution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Outdoor clothing chain Mountain Warehouse was not implicated in the November 29, 2011 accident, which left Patricia unable to do her favourite activities, including bowls, gardening and ballroom dancing.
She said: “I was very fit and active. I used to be a busy and active person, which has changed dramatically.
“I feel like a different woman. My life has come to a complete standstill. I feel lucky to be alive. I’ve still got my family around and I can still see my grandchildren.”
Lee McDowell, senior environmental health officer at Cornwall Council, said: “I was shocked at how poorly the sign was fitted, and it was only luck that prevented it from killing someone.
“You didn’t need to be an experienced sign fitter to realise screwing a heavy sign to a thin fascia board made up of predominantly MDF was not going to stay in place for long and would present a danger to passers-by.”
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