A MOTORING enthusiast may have inadvertently dislodged a car off an axle stand while repairing an exhaust on the vehicle he had just acquired, an inquest heard.

Car-mad Graham Kirk had been working on his red Mazda MX5 behind his home in Haslingden when tragedy struck, Burnley Coroner’s Court was told.

His parents arrived home to find him trapped underneath the vehicle in an alleyway at the rear of Poplar Street, on Sunday 24 March last year.

Mr Kirk, 27, was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, suffering from crush injuries, but died from a related chest infection three days later.

Consultant pathologist Dr Walid Salman, who conducted a post-mortem examination, said the infection would have set in while Mr Kirk was immobile following the incident. The inquest was told that when his parents came home they discovered that a jack, which had been used to raise the car, was lying bent on the ground.

His father, John Kirk, immediately went to fetch a second jack and tried to raise the car again but the device failed.

Shortly afterwards firefighters arrived on the scene, the court was told, and lifted the car, before inserting a large chock underneath.

His father told the inquest: “He loved his cars — he lived for his cars. He always modified them and played about with them.”

Police accident investigator Pc Robert Barton, who examined the scene, said a socket wrench was still left in place on one of the exhaust clamps.

He believed that Mr Kirk might have been exerting enough force on the wrench to cause the vehicle to move off the axle stand that was in place.

Recording an accidental death verdict, East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor said Mr Kirk was an experienced mechanic and it was clear his father, the fire service and paramedics had made considerable efforts to save him.