Former police officer was struck by concrete mixer while cycling

Former Essex Police chief inspector Andrew Down died following the collision in Trimley St Martin

Former Essex Police chief inspector Andrew Down died following the collision in Trimley St Martin - Credit: Suffolk police

An inquest has opened into the death of a "wonderful and gregarious” former Essex Police officer who was hit by a lorry while cycling near his home.

Andrew Down, a former chief inspector who spent 30 years in the force, was involved in a collision in Kirton Road, Trimley St Martin, on the morning of Thursday, November 26.

The 69-year-old died three days after the incident on Sunday, November 29.

Mr Down, who lived in Felixstowe, had been on one of his regular cycle routes at the time of the accident.

An inquest into Mr Down's death was opened at Landmark House in Ipswich on Friday.

Senior coroner Nigel Parsley heard how the cyclist had been involved in a collision with a concrete mixer truck.

The hearing was told Mr Down was treated for his injuries at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but he never regained consciousness.

A post-mortem examination has not yet taken place.

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Mr Parsley adjourned the inquest for a case review to be held on Friday, October 1, with the hearing set to resume on Wednesday, November 10.

In a tribute issued to Suffolk police after Mr Down's death, his family said he will be remembered for bringing people together through his “wonderful, loud and gregarious character”.

His family said: “Andrew Down had a passion for life like no other, he was the fittest 69-year-old grandad you are likely to have met, cycling through the villages and coastline surrounding Felixstowe.

"This wonderful, loud, gregarious character continued to support people and work within his community after he retired.

"He was heavily involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, taking young people from schools in Suffolk and Norfolk on camping expeditions and sharing his love for the outdoors.

"In his younger days he was an excellent long-distance runner participating in many marathons and running with a team from John o’ Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Children in Need. He was also an avid supporter of the England rugby team.

"He was an inspiration to all those that knew and loved him, his final act of generosity was the gift of life to others having registered as an organ donor.

"His loving partner and family couldn’t have been prouder to ensure these wishes were met. Andrew meant so much to many, he spent his life bringing people together and he will be greatly missed."

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