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London - An elderly couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning after reversing a classic Mercedes into a large plastic bag to protect it.

Classic car enthusiasts William Reid, 67, and Kathryn Workman, 70, were overcome by fumes in the garage at their home, an inquest heard.

Mr Reid, who had restored classic cars for years, had bought the Mercedes Benz from the US and was attempting to store it in the plastic bag over the winter.

But the retired lorry driver fell unconscious at the wheel during the freak accident on October 22, 2017. Mrs Workman called an ambulance then crawled inside the bag in a desperate attempt to save her partner, before passing out next to the car.

An inquest at Cockermouth Coroner’s Court heard that when paramedics arrived at the couple’s home in High Seaton, Cumbria, at around noon they found them unconscious and trapped inside the plastic bag. Paramedic Ben Sayner said: "We ripped the bag open and there was a very strong smell of fumes so we ran out."

The paramedics opened as many doors as they could before going back into the garage to rescue Mrs Workman. She died two days later. Mr Reid was too far into the bag to reach without breathing equipment. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.13pm

Coroner Simon Ward praised Mrs Workman’s bravery. "She was aware she may become unconscious," he said. "My view is she would have still tried to help him and that’s a credit to her dedication to their relationship. She would have done all she could to help Mr Reid irrespective of her own safety."

Post-mortem examinations found Mr Reid died from poisoning by carbon monoxide, while Mrs Workman died by hypoxic brain injury due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The coroner concluded Mr Reid died as a result of an accident while recording a verdict of misadventure for Mrs Workman.

Daily Mail