Man killed in lorry collision on A14 had ‘complex’ mental health issues, inquest hears
- Credit: Archant
A 54-year-old man who died after being struck by a lorry on the A14 at Bury St Edmunds suffered from a history of “complex” mental health issues, an inquest heard.
Andrew Gibbins, from Bury St Edmunds, was involved in a collision with an HGV shortly after 8pm on January 15, Suffolk Coroners’ Court was told on Monday.
Just three days earlier, he had stepped in front of a car near Wedgwood House mental health unit, where he was a voluntary patient.
Andrew Mason, a trainee psychiatry doctor at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the ward, told coroner Jacqueline Devonish it was “unlikely” this was an accident.
On the evening of his death, CCTV footage had captured Mr Gibbins leaving Wedgwood House for West Suffolk Hospital’s acute assessment unit.
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Hospital staff said Mr Gibbins was “deemed to have capacity” and was allowed to step outside for cigarettes, the inquest was told.
Several witness statements heard in court claimed to have seen a man on the side of the A14 in the moments leading up to the accident, with a lack of streetlights making visibility poor.
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After being struck by the vehicle, Mr Gibbins immediately received treatment for his injuries from a nearby member of the public and paramedics.
However, he was pronounced dead at the scene a short while later.
Pc Andrew Fosse, of Suffolk police, said it was “probable” that Mr Gibbins had ran out into the road and said the driver of the lorry had “no chance to avoid the collision”.
Mr Gibbins’ family told the inquest he suffered from a “complex mental health condition” throughout his life and had a “high suicidal tendency”, having overdosed several times in the months leading up to his death.
In a statement read out in the hearing, Mr Gibbins’ sister Julie described him as a “gentle and kind-hearted soul” and said she and her mother were having “sleepless nights” over how he was allowed to leave the hospital grounds unattended.
Ms Gibbins questioned why her brother was not left in the care of mental health professionals, adding: “We have solace in the knowledge that Andrew is now resting in peace.”
The inquest continues.