Falmouth-man Nicholas Perrin suffered a traumatic brain injury after an accident whilst working in Hayle.

Mr Perrin's partner, Debbie Smithers, paid tribute to the "lovely, kind and considerate cheeky chappy," at his inquest in Plymouth today.

She said that "the love of her life" was a big fan of Formula 1 and fishing. She added that he "didn't have a bad bone in his body and would have done anything for anyone".

They had been together for almost 16-years, and had a fantastic relationship, she said.

The inquest held at Plymouth Coroner's Court, heard that Mr Perrin was working for R R Transport Ltd on March 23, 2017, when he fell from the cab of the vehicle.

The 60-year-old dad-of-two, was found unconscious on the floor "laying on his back" by a Russian lorry driver, and was rushed to Treliske Hospital before being transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

During the hearing, he was described as a "safety conscious and extremely compliant” employee.

The inquest heard a statement from Mikhial Auramau who saw Mr Perrin arrive at the Southern England Farms loading bay in Fraddam Road, and was first on scene after he heard a "thump".

Mr Auramau, who is a professional lorry driver and has driven all over Europe, was parked up in a bay waiting for his load to be ready for collection.

Nicholas Perrin died as a result of a traumatic brain injury he suffered at work
Nicholas Perrin died as a result of a traumatic brain injury he suffered at work

The court heard that it was a rainy day and that the two men were not known to each other.

In a statement read by Senior Coroner Ian Arrow, Mr Auramau said: "Whilst I was waiting I was watching a movie on my notebook.

"I saw a cab reverse up from about two metres away from me. I saw the gentleman get out of the cab, I saw him go round to the passenger side, he jumped up to the cab and started attaching air hoses to the trailer.

"The furthest one away was too far away and he came back to the cab. He did it differently, there is no step on the drivers size, he put his knee on the tank and I was surprised he had done this."

Mr Auramau said that he carried on watching his film and a few short moments later there was a "thump".

"I thought he was just in pain and just needed to recover himself," he said.

Mr Auramau noticed that Mr Perrin did not get up, and put his coat on to check if he was ok. As his English was not good, he went over to Patrick Collins, another lorry driver who dialled 999.

The Russian-speaking man said he knew little English, which made it hard to communicate with Mr Collins.

Mr Collins, who knew Mr Perrin said: "A [Russian] driver came running over beckoning me to come over and he pointed to Nick who was laying on the floor on his back."

Mr Collins then called Mr Perrin's partner to alert her to the incident.

A statement read out in court on Ms Smithers' behalf said: "He had been driving lorries on and off for about 30 years and he absolutely loved it."

She said that he had called her shortly before the accident to help him find a different route for his journey, but when she called him back to give him the information, he didn't pick up.

She was then called by Mr Collins and said she rushed straight to the hospital, where she was told Mr Perrin was in an induced coma.

She said she was told "that he may survive and be fine or be brain-damaged, or not survive at all".

The inquest also heard from paramedic, Matthew Axelby, who said that when he arrived on scene, Mr Perrin was "agitated on his back", and was vomiting.

He said: "He was confused and fought against our actions, which made basic observations difficult."

Mr Perrin was sedated so that he could safely be transported in the air ambulance, but he was still "too agitated and his behaviour was unpredictable" so he had to go in a land ambulance.

Professor Peter Whitfield, a consultant neurosurgeon at Derriford Hospital, said: "Mr Perrin was found on his back on the ground next to the lorry.

"He was taken to the emergency department and was intubated and ventilated, connected to a breathing machine. He had a CT scan which showed an extensive fracture of the skull and a severe traumatic brain injury."

He was then transferred to Derriford Hospital, where a scan showed that Mr Perrin had deteriorated and had more swelling on the brain.

Doctors then tried to drain the fluid on the brain to reduce the pressure, which initially resulted "in good control of intracranial pressure".

Professor Whitfield said that by March 26, "the pressure had become severely elevated" and "a number of treatments were taken to reduce the intracranial pressure", but doctors realised that treatment was becoming "futile".

He added: "We considered that the brain injury was so severe that it was deemed unsurvivable."

Treatment was then withdrawn and Mr Perrin died on March 31, 2017.

Professor Whitfield said that the primary cause of death was a traumatic brain injury, but he also suffered from lobar pneumonia.

A jury of two men and six women were called in to help reach a conclusion of how Mr Perrin died, as he died as a result of an injury in the workplace.

The jury came to the conclusion that Mr Perrin "died as a result of an accident" when "making preparations to attach his lorry to a trailer".

Closing the inquest, Senior Coroner, Ian Arrow, said: "I'm very sorry to have heard of Nick's death, to have a loved one who popped out for work, and then you have this sudden and shocking news."

Mr Perrin was born in Maidenhead, and lived in Slough before moving down to Cornwall five years ago.