Fitness addict, 56, crushed to death by his own gym equipment in freak accident

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Steven Baker was crushed to death by his home gym equipment (Caters)

A fitness addict suffered a fatal heart attack when his own gym equipment fell onto him while he was training in his garage.

Steven Baker, 56, was crushed by a 100kg weightlifting machine that fell onto his throat, with the pressure on his neck bringing on a heart attack.

He was found by friends in his home gym lying trapped underneath the 15-and-a-half stone bench press.

An inquest into Mr Baker’s death at Leicester Coroner’s Court heard how he had been at his home in Leicester on 25 October 2016 when he set the safety catches on the bench presses to the lowest level – meaning he would have had to lift the full weight.

The fitness addict suffered a heart attack due to the pressure on his neck (Caters)

Training partner Abdullah Bodhaniya, 48, who found Mr Baker’s body, told the inquest: “On the machine I spotted his feet – I looked down, the bar was on his neck.

“The bench was right to the floor and the bar was slanted because one of his hands was trying to push it up.

“It was resting on his arm, the left hand was supporting the bar. The headrest was on the floor.”

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Recording an open conclusion, assistant coroner for Leicester Lydia Brown, said: “The medical cause of death was that the actual neck compression was the factor that took his life – also contributed to that was the condition of the heart as found at post-mortem.

“It remains the rather classic chicken and the egg dilemma, which came first? Was it just an accident, a terrible life-stealing accident?”

Mr Bodhaniya paid tribute to his friend, who worked as a brand manager for Wild Cats Energy Drinks Firm Ltd.

Mr Baker was found by friends lying under his bench press (Caters)

He said: “We all miss him but I feel like we have now got closure on this and can move on from this.

“He was the type of person that if you had a problem he would have a chat with you and make you feel good about yourself.

“I will always remember his dancing when we would go out clubbing, he loved to talk to everyone and always had a massive smile on his face.”

Mr Baker was a keen writer and had just finished a book which his son is now hoping to publish.