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Groundsperson dies in accident on university campus

* 3 July 2002 *

Groundsperson dies in accident on university campus

The University of Sussex is very sad to announce the death of a groundsperson working at its Falmer campus. Gary Bartoszek, aged 35, died in hospital a week after suffering a serious head injury in an accident on the morning of Monday 24 June.

Mr Bartoszek was an employee of Ecovert Management Ltd (EML), which is contracted by the University to maintain the campus grounds. Before EML took on the contract in November 2000, Mr Bartoszek had worked for the University of Sussex as a groundsperson for 13 years.

Mr Bartoszek was taking a ride-on mower across a car park to fill it up with fuel for the day's work. An eyewitness saw him jump from the mower and then strike his head on the ground. It is not yet clear why he jumped from the vehicle. The mower came to a stop when it hit a tree. Nobody else was involved in the incident and nobody else was hurt.

Trained first aiders from the University's Rescue Team were at the scene within five minutes and paramedics arrived shortly afterwards. They took Mr Bartoszek to the accident and emergency department of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

He did not regain consciousness after the accident and was transferred to a life-support machine in intensive care. Mr Bartoszek was declared dead on Monday 1 July.

The University has sent its condolences to Mr Bartoszek's family. Paul Kelly, the University's Maintenance Contracts Manager, said: "We are devastated by this tragic loss. Gary was a quiet, unassuming and likeable man who loved rock music. He will be sadly missed by all the grounds staff and by everyone who knew him at the University."

Clive Parkinson, the University's Director of Safety, met with EML management immediately after the incident and continues to liaise with them. The University will be assisting EML (Mr Bartoszek's employer) with their accident investigation and the incident has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

* Notes for editors *

Mr Bartoszek's family have specifically requested that the media do not contact them. For further information, please contact Alison Field or Rob Read, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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