AN inquest has been opened into the death of a truck driver who died at a Dudley shopping centre.

Gary Leslie Pickering, aged 34 of Chepstow Road, Swinton was making a delivery at the Churchill precinct on Tuesday September 10.

It is believed the tailgate on the vehicle he was driving had become stuck and while trying to free it, his head became trapped.

Black Country Coroner Robin Balmain told the hearing at Dudley Coroners Court on Monday (September 16) that a security guard had arrived at the precinct at 4.12am and heard an alarm going off in the loading bay area.

He said: “He saw a delivery vehicle parked in the loading bay and Mr Pickering was slumped against the vehicle with his head trapped by the tailgate.

“CCTV at the scene suggested the tailgate had become stuck on the loading bay deck and Mr Pickering was trying to free it.”

Mr Balmain said the medical cause of death was asphyxia but adjourned the inquest for further enquiries to be made.

A health and safety investigation is currently under way.