A ‘happy and content’ Newmarket father of two was found dead in a fume-filled garage behind the wheel of a car he often started up to keep the battery charged, an inquest has heard.
Forty-four-year-old Jason Allen was discovered at his home in Whitegates by a neighbour who had seen exhaust fumes coming out of the roof and walls of the garage on September 18 last year.
An inquest on Monday at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich heard that Michael Rogers, who had lived next door to Mr Allen for 10 years, had been making a phone call when he heard his neighbour’s Toyota car started up.
In a statement, Mr Rogers said he knew Mr Allen had often worked on the vehicle in the garage and would start the engine to keep the battery charged. After realising that the car was still running almost half an hour later, Mr Rogers said he went outside and saw the exhaust fumes before he opened a rear door and saw Mr Allen inside the car.
Mr Rogers managed to get Mr Allen, a prison officer, outside but despite desperate efforts to save him he could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Allen’s wife Emma said in a statement that her husband was always happy and content and had worked hard to provide for their two daughters. They had been able to buy each a pony and before the tragedy had been making plans for Christmas.
In her statement to the inquest, Mrs Allen said that in 2015 after he suffered chest pains her husband had been diagnosed with a heart valve problem and as a result he was often tired and sometimes said he felt as if he was about to fall asleep.
Mr Allen’s father-in-law Ian Bond, said that in addition to working full-time as a prison officer at Highpoint prison, Mr Allen had also worked at weekends for a racecourse security company which involved him travelling to tracks across the country.
“I told him many times that he needed to slow down but he said he wanted to give his girls a good life,” said Mr Bond in his statement.
Assistant Suffolk coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone said post-mortem tests had confirmed that Mr Allen had a fatal level of carbon monoxide in his body and concluded he died as a result.