Former Transporter Bridge superintendent died after fall at home

John McDermott

John McDermott

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A MAN who dedicated his life to Newport’s Transporter Bridge died after a fall at his home, an inquest heard.

John McDermott, 70, of Maindee, fell off the bottom two steps of his staircase just before midnight on July 28, Gwent Coroner’s Court was told on Thursday.

The former superintendent of the city's iconic bridge was taken to hospital where he lost consciousness and died on July 30.

In the weeks leading up to his death he was on medication for a chest infection, which was later diagnosed as bronchial pneumonia.

The tablets made him disorientated but were changed two weeks before he died, which stopped the problem, the hearing heard.

A post mortem examination found he suffered a fractured spine consistent with a fall.

Gwent Coroner David Bowen recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr McDermott, who was also known as Sean, moved to Newport from Ireland aged 14 to find work.

He was the bridge’s superintendent for 30 years and for many people in the city was synonymous with the famous structure.

As we reported last month, his funeral car took his body over the River Usk for one final time on the bridge’s gondola.

Friends and former co-workers lined the banks of the river and the Irish republic flag was flown at half-mast.

Mr McDermott retired in 2007 and in recognition of his service, the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge planted a cherry tree and plaque next to the visitor centre. It was funded by the Argus’ parent company, The Gannett Foundation.

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