Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson’s death was due to “inadequate construction techniques”, coroner says

A second inquest into Johnson's 2012 death was held in Doncaster yesterday

The 2012 death of Radiohead drum technician Scott Johnson was due to “inadequate construction techniques”, a coroner in charge of the second inquest into his death has said.

Johnson died in June 2012 at the age of 33 after a stage roof collapsed on him ahead of a Radiohead gig at Toronto’s Downsview Park. Three other people were also injured in the stage collapse. A Toronto-held inquest concluded in April, returning a verdict of accidental death — a conclusion the band called “frustratingly insufficient given that the stage collapse was shown to be preventable”.

A second inquest into Johnson’s death has been opened in the technician’s home town of Doncaster. Among those in attendance at yesterday’s proceedings (October 24) were Scott’s father Ken Johnson, Radiohead’s Philip Selway (who said Johnson was a “lovely person, very sunny and very professional”), Keane‘s Richard Hughes and Paul Bonney of The Australian Pink Floyd Experience.


Radiohead philip selway stage collapse
Philip Selway

Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Nicola Mundy said: “Inadequate technical advice coupled with wholly inadequate construction techniques led to the collapse of the roof system which led to Scott Johnson’s death.

“It’s quite clear from what I have heard that the design and construction itself had inherent deficiencies within them.”

Ken Johnson welcomed the coroner’s comments, telling ITV: “It’s exactly what we needed someone to say. At least that information now should help people to acknowledge the negligence.”