Coroner to highlight risks of low promenade wall after Prestatyn teacher death
Staff reporter (NW Pioneer)
Wednesday 18 June 2014 9:41
A CORONER is to highlight the danger of a low wall alongside the promenade in Prestatyn following the death of a popular retired teacher.
The move comes after the family of Garry Daltry voiced concern at his inquest that there were no railings on the section of wall where a ramp runs down to the prom from a footpath.
Mr Daltry, 64, suffered major head and spinal injuries when he apparently tumbled over the wall after leaving a New Year’s Eve party to go for a walk in the dark.
When he failed to return to the party at the Beaches Hotel members of his family went searching for him and he was found by his son Andrew.
Andrew, a doctor, tried to resuscitate him but Mr Daltry, who taught science at Prestatyn High School, was declared dead at the scene. He had broken his neck and several ribs and suffered a “significant injury” to his skull.
He also had minor abrasions on his shins which could have come from the low wall.
His wife Linda told the inquest in Ruthin that her husband was always “the life and soul of the party” and enjoyed making people happy, but turned to drink about 10 years ago when suffering from depression.
He had, however, overcome his alcohol problem and though he occasionally still had a drink he didn’t like people to know it.
She said that New Year’s Eve was her birthday and it had become a family tradition to have a party at The Beaches, situated on the seafront.
“He was enjoying himself and looking forward to dancing,” she said.
After the meal, at about 10pm, he said he was going for a walk, as he often did after eating. When he did not return Mrs Daltry’s anger turned to concern and at about midnight they went looking for him. He was found about 200 yards from the hotel.
A post-mortem examination by Liverpool-based Home Office pathologist Dr Paul Johnson revealed that he had only 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, the legal limit for driving being 80, and John Gittins, the coroner for North Wales East and Central said he did not believe that played any part in Mr Daltry’s death.
Both Mrs Daltry and her son expressed concern at the absence of railings on that section of wall where he had fallen.
“They have railings on either side but not where the ramp goes down, which is the most likely place for a child to fall,” said Mrs Daltry.
After being shown a photograph of the spot by Mrs Daltry the coroner said he agreed with her point.
“I shall be writing a report to Denbighshire County Council raising the concerns I have with regard to this location and the risk that if it is not rectified others might sustain injuries,” he said.
He recorded a conclusion of accidental death on Mr Daltry, of Plas Avenue, Prestatyn, who had been diagnosed with dementia about 18 months before his death.
Following his death many of his former pupils paid tribute to him on Facebook and a fundraising event for a dementia support charity was held in his memory.
Several of the ex-students referred to his sense of humour and Phil Pierce, the head of Prestatyn High School also mentioned his “unique sense of laughter and fun”.
“He was a very capable and well-liked teacher” he said.