AN inquest into the death of a South Tyneside dock worker was due to begin today.
Jason Burden, from South Shields, was killed when a piece of metal machinery, weighing almost a tonne, fell on him as he worked at South Docks, in Sunderland, in December 2011.
The 19-year-old was pronounced dead at hospital, despite colleagues and emergency services desperately trying to help him at the scene.
Jason, who was an apprentice engineer for Tyne Slipway and Engineering, was working on a piece of equipment called a thruster, when the tragedy happened.
Tyne Slipway and Engineering was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £47,936 costs at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting a breach of health and safety regulations in January this year.
Last month, Jason’s family paid tribute to him on Worker’s Memorial Day.
Jason’s father Trevor, said: “Jason was the perfect son in every way.
“He was hard-working, intelligent and dedicated and he was just six months’ shy of completing his BTEC qualification.
“We couldn’t have been more proud.
“Jason really was the most loving, caring and funny lad anybody could ever wish to meet. He had so much going for him and it was all taken away from him in one terrible and totally avoidable moment.”
An inquest, to last two days, was due to start at Sunderland Coroner’s Court this morning.