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Car collectors died storing Mercedes in ‘plastic bag’

Enthusiasts: Mr Reid and Mrs Workman PICTURE: SWNS

A COUPLE died from carbon monoxide poisoning after reversing a classic Mercedes Benz into a large protective bag, an inquest heard.

William Reid and his partner Kathryn Workman were overcome by fumes while trying to store the car, imported from the US, for the winter.

Retired lorry driver Mr Reid, 67, who collected and restored classic cars, lost consciousness as he attempted to reverse into the plastic bag in a garage which was below road level.

Mrs Workman was also affected as she tried to help but she managed to crawl out and call the emergency services.

While she was on the phone, confusion about what was happening in the garage led to the operator advising her to get near to Mr Reid and try to treat him.

But she was unable to wake Mr Reid and shortly after stopped responding, the inquest in Cockermouth, Cumbria, heard.

Paramedic Ben Sayner was first at their home in High Seaton in October 2017. He told the inquest: ‘We ripped the bag open and there was a very strong smell of fumes so we ran out.’ Mr Reid was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. Mrs Workman, 70, died two days later of hypoxic brain injury.

An inquiry by the ambulance service found the operator’s advice to Mrs Workman had been ‘accepted as reasonable’ in the circumstances.

Coroner Simon Ward said Mrs Workman ‘would have done all she could to help Mr Reid irrespective of her own safety’. He recorded a verdict of accidental death for Mr Reid and misadventure for Mrs Workman.