Family’s wait for answers continues a year after factory death

Kathryn Pallier, front with wreath, with family and friends from left, Paul Ennion, Hilda Palmer, Dan Pallier-Singleton, Clyde Walker, Sophie Pallier-Singleton, Mark Sands and Sue Pallier.
Kathryn Pallier, front with wreath, with family and friends from left, Paul Ennion, Hilda Palmer, Dan Pallier-Singleton, Clyde Walker, Sophie Pallier-Singleton, Mark Sands and Sue Pallier.

The family of a teenager killed in a tragic workplace incident are still searching for answers a year on from his death.

Ben Pallier-Singleton, 19, from Disley, had been working the night shift at Vinyl Compounds Ltd in Chinley on February 10, 2015, when the stacker truck he was driving toppled over and crushed him.

As the family marked the first anniversary of his death today (Wednesday), his mum Kathryn described how they are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of a much-loved son, brother and friend.

“My life and my heart has been ripped apart and every day is a massive struggle just to get out of bed,” she said.

And Paul Ennion, Kathryn’s partner, added: “I never dreamed that grief gets harder. I thought with time it gets easier, but every day without answers is destroying Kath.”

Kathryn, who is also mother to Dan, 21, and Sophie, 16, said: “I am not living, I am just existing.

“I spent 19 years raising and loving my boy, making sure he was happy, safe and loved, and to have him taken away from us and knowing he is in the ground and I will never see him again it doesn’t seem real.”

The Health and Safety Executive confirmed there is still an ongoing investigation into the circumstances of Ben’s death.

The family say their grief has been made worse by Vinyl Compounds failing to acknowledge Ben’s death.

Paul said: “No-one from human resources or the management has been round to see the family to offer their condolences.”

When approached Vinyl Compound Ltd declined to comment.

Brother Dan said: “I didn’t realise it would be this unbelievably difficult and the passing of a year has not made it any easier.”

The family has been working with Hilda Palmer, from Families Against Corporate Killers, and is assisting with the technical side of getting answers.

She said: “Everyone is going through hell. The whole family isn’t coping and Kathryn has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder it is that bad.”

Ben, who attended Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, inherited a love of motorbikes from his dad, Alan Singleton.

“It was his life,” said Kathryn. “When he wasn’t at work or seeing his girlfriend, Kensey Johnson, he was always tinkering on his motocross bike or getting ready for competitions.”

Alan, who lives on a farm in Whaley Bridge, said: “The past year has been very difficult and I don’t know what to do with myself anymore.

“Ben was incredible, very funny and kind and everything I could wish for in a son.

“There is not an hour that goes by where he is not in my thoughts.”

Alan was converting a barn for Ben and Kensey.

Sister Sophie added: “Having Ben as a big brother to look up to has taught me a lot, to live life the way he did.

“I never knew the impact just one person could have on you until they were gone and occasions like this make it painfully obvious.”

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