Man killed in A14 crash had stepped in front of a car just days previously
PUBLISHED: 05:30 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:07 28 February 2020
A pedestrian who died after being hit by a lorry is claimed to have stepped in front of a car just days before the fatal crash, according to a witness.
Andrew Gibbins, 54, died on the A14 in Bury St Edmunds at 8.15pm on Wednesday, January 15, when he was hit by an HGV.
MORE: Man who died in A14 lorry crash is named
But questions are now being asked about the care he received prior to his death after it emerged he was involved in another collision just days earlier.
Terry Donovan, 57, was driving along Hardwick Lane near West Suffolk Hospital on the previous Sunday morning, when his car hit Mr Gibbins.
Mr Donovan claims Mr Gibbins stepped out in front of his vehicle wearing a hospital gown, leaving him no time to brake.
He said Mr Gibbins suffered bruises and hit his head but was quickly treated and admitted to West Suffolk Hospital.
Police confirmed they received a report of a collision between a pedestrian and vehicle at West Suffolk Hospital at around 9.40am on January 12, in which the victim sustained minor injuries.
Mr Donovan said he was already "pretty shaken up" by the accident. When he later learnt Mr Gibbins had died in another collision just a mile away, he started questioning what had happened to Mr Gibbins' care.
"It was a big shock for me," he said. "It was not too bad at first, but when I heard he'd died, it made me think - clearly he was a danger so why wasn't he better supervised?"
Mr Donovan said he raised concerns after the first crash with Wedgwood House at West Suffolk Hospital, where he understood Mr Gibbins was a mental health patient.
He claims the manager of the ward, which is run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, confirmed that, following the accident, Mr Gibbins had been deemed a danger and would be confined to the ward.
You may also want to watch:
However, Mr Gibbins managed to leave the ward before the fatal lorry collision.
As reported by this newspaper, Ed Smith, a first-aider who rushed to help Mr Gibbins after the collision, noticed he was wearing a hospital gown. Mr Smith also raised questions about how Mr Gibbins came to be there.
MORE: Pedestrian killed in A14 crash was wearing hospital gown, says first-aider
Mr Donovan, who has dash-cam footage of the accident involving his car, said he would be attending Mr Gibbins' inquest, which he hoped would answer some of his questions.
"I'm still shaken up," he said. "There's not a day that goes by when I don't think about it."
Mr Gibbins' family said they did not wish to comment until after the inquest. No date has yet been set for the inquest.
'Deepest sympathies' to the family
Health providers have offered condolences to Andrew Gibbins' friends and family - but would not comment further due to ongoing investigations.
Diane Hull, chief nurse at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We would like to take this opportunity to express our sympathies to his family and friends for their loss.
"We understand a police investigation is underway and an inquest is pending, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment on his sad death."
West Suffolk Hospital added: "It is always saddening when a family loses a loved one in any circumstance, and we extend our deepest sympathies and thoughts to Mr Gibbins' family. We understand Mr Gibbins' tragic death is currently under police investigation.
"We will always transparently and openly support police investigations, and coroner inquests, under any circumstance where our help is required."