A 25-YEAR-old man died after being crushed while working at a welding company.

Father-to-be Richard Calsen, known as Chard, suffered crush injuries and went into cardiac arrest at John Fowler and Son in Abbey Village, near Chorley.

Police were seen inspecting a bin wagon in the firm’s yard at Abbey Mill in Garden Street, shortly after the incident on Saturday afternoon. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death is now underway.

Mr Calsen, who was the son of Lynn and Peter Calsen, and one of five siblings, died at the scene.

In a statement, his family said: “We are devastated at the loss of Richard who was sadly taken from us at the prime of his life.

“He lived his life to the full.

“We have lost a loving and caring son, brother, uncle, great friend and father-to-be, who was looking forward to a bright future.

“The family ask for privacy at this time.”


And Jade Halpin, 28, who is pregnant with Mr Calsen’s child, said on Facebook: “Love you Chard. Can’t believe I’ve lost you.”

Further tributes were paid to Mr Calsen, who is believed to have lived in Brinscall before recently moving to Buckshaw Village.

Posting on Facebook, Hollie Young said: “Can’t get my head around it. Known you for years. If only we could turn the clocks back. Sleep tight xx”

And on Twitter, Kate C wrote: “RIP to the poor man who died in Abbey Village. No-one deserves to go to work and never come home.”

One friend said Mr Calsen ‘kept himself to himself’ and enjoyed riding his motorbike.

Ambulances, police and the North West Air Ambulance were called to the blacksmith and welding company at 3pm.

People from Abbey Village gathered at the scene and one witness said: “I saw the helicopter land at the back of Abbey Mill at around 3.40pm. There were four or five police cars, ambulances, and the helicopter.

“I knew it must have been something serious because there were people everywhere.”

Paramedic cars and ambulances left without their sirens on at 4.30pm.

A gate at the business was closed at around 5pm, and detectives could be seen examining a bin wagon in the firm’s yard.

One neighbour said he thought the helicopter was part of a pleasure flight, until the ‘shocking’ truth dawned on him.

He said: “We were coming back from a trip to Preston, and when we came up the road, we saw the helicopter fly over.

“They run pleasure flights nearby but we saw it land in a field. There was a lot of police activity, and paramedic cars too.

“That was between 3.15pm and 3.30pm. There was a lot of people out wondering what was going on.

“It’s a private road which has a few industrial units down there. There are always vans and trucks going up and down it.

“We thought it must have been serious but didn’t realise anybody had died until we read the news online.”

He continued: “It’s a very busy place, but you don’t think things like this will happen, and it’s really sad.

“It’s a nice village. It’s a lovely place to live, and people keep themselves to themselves around here. What has happened is shocking really.”

John Fowler and Son offers skip refurbishment, bin wagon repairs, litter nets, and also has a timber yard, it said online.

It said it has previously worked on projects with Hyndburn Council, the Hilton Hotel in Deansgate, Manchester, Manchester Airport, and Coleshill Railway Station.

It was incorporated in 2003 and is run by 63-year-old John Fowler, of Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley, and 58-year-old William Fowler, of Gladstone Terrace, also in Withnell, according to documents lodged with Companies House.

Nobody at the business could be reached for comment over the weekend.

Local councillor Chris France said the news will have shocked the community.

He said: “It’s terrible news. The last time something as terrible as this happened in Abbey Village was about 15 years ago when a young girl was killed on Bolton Road.

“These things are extremely rare. It’s a small, quiet village with a small population. There will be a lot of shocked people about.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “At 3pm on Saturday, police were called by the ambulance service to reports a man had suffered injuries while working at an industrial unit at Abbey Village, near Chorley.

“Police and paramedics attended but sadly a 25-year-old local man was pronounced dead at the scene.

“A joint police and Health and Safety Executive investigation is underway to establish the circumstances and is in its early stages.”

A spokesman for the HSE added: “We are aware of Saturday’s incident and we are making enquiries.”