A HOLMFIRTH man was killed in front of his family in a road accident in Germany.
Keith Aspinall died of a fractured skull and brain injury after being hit by a trailer that broke free from the back of a car.
Mr Aspinall and his wife Rita had moved from Holmfirth to the village of Passade in Germany in June 2005 to be nearer their daughter Melanie and her children.
An inquest, held in Huddersfield yesterday, heard that 61-year-old Mr Aspinall was out walking with his son Paul, daughter-in-law Sarah and three grandchildren, when the tragedy happened on September 17 last year.
It was the first time Paul and his family had been to see his parents in Germany.
They were walking in line along a grass verge on a country road, approaching a level crossing. Paul was at the front of the line, with his father behind him. Sarah, her two children and Melanie's son were at the back.
Paul told the inquest he saw a black Skoda with a box trailer going over the crossing. He saw the trailer bouncing and then watched as it came unhitched from the car when it rounded a right-hand bend. The trailer careered towards the verge, passed behind Paul, but struck Mr Aspinall before he time to react.
Paul said: "He turned to see it, tried to get out of the way and couldn't."
The trailer hit Mr Aspinall and carried him into a ploughed field 20ft away. Paul rushed to the field and found his father unconscious.
Drivers - including the owner of the trailer - stopped and called the emergency services.
Hans-Jürgen Müller, who was in the queue of cars behind the Skoda with his son, Jan Martin Müller, told the inquest his son ran to help Mr Aspinall while he stopped the traffic.
A team of experts from German company Kasig GMBH tested the coupling which held the trailer to the Skoda. They
concluded that the trailer had simply not been connected to the car correctly.
Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of misadventure: "This is, in my view, a dreadful accident. But accident is hardly the right word to describe it. I offer to you, my inadequate sympathy."
During his working life Mr Aspinall had been a driver, newsagent and had worked for two years as a mental health carer.
Proceedings are still ongoing in Germany in connection with Mr Aspinall's death.