David Hunt, 55, who died on Nowton Road Bury St Edmunds while walking in the dark was in a confused state, inquest hears
PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 August 2016
A man killed after being struck by a car near Bury St Edmunds suffered from mental health problems, an inquest has heard.
David Hunt, who died from his injuries after being struck by a Honda Civic on Nowton Road on January 11, was a long term sufferer of bipolar affective disorder.
The inquest, held yesterday by assistant Suffolk coroner Kevin McCarthy in Bury St Edmunds, heard how Mr Hunt, from Bury, was walking along the road in the dark, with witnesses saying he appeared confused.
Mr McCarthy said: “During the hours of darkness Mr Hunt was walking along a single carriageway road governed by a 40mph limit.
“There was no street lighting, there had been heavy rain overnight, Mr Hunt was wearing dark clothing and was hit by a car.
“He bounced up on to the bonnet then hit the windscreen before then hitting the ground. Emergency services were called but despite resuscitation attempts Mr Hunt died at the scene.”
Toxicology reports showed that Mr Hunt, who was aged 55 when he died, had no alcohol in his blood and was not on any illegal drugs.
Mr McCarthy explained how a confused Mr Hunt appeared to initially stick to the right of the road, travelling past the entrance to Nowton Park towards Bury St Edmunds.
However, witnesses described how he later moved in to the centre of the road, appearing to try and dodge large puddles. He was struck by the Honda at around 7.55am, with the winter’s morning conditions described as dark and wet.
The Civic was said to be correctly positioned on the road and driving within the 40mph road. The police collision report said that it would have been “extremely difficult” to see Mr Hunt given the conditions, with headlights from oncoming cars pointing towards the driver combining with the Mr Hunt’s dark clothing.
“There is no suggestion whatsoever that the driver of the Honda was doing anything other than driving correctly,” Mr McCarthy said.
The police decided there were no criminal charges, a view Mr McCarthy agreed with. Mr Hunt, who was unemployed, was pronounced dead at 9.25am on January 11 while receiving treatment in the Nowton Park car park.
The cause of death was given as multiple injuries resulting from a road traffic collision. Mr McCarthy recorded a verdict of accidental death.