Inquiry after man found dead at wheel

A MAN has died after a van hit a house in a Suffolk village.

AN investigation into the mystery of a man found dead at the wheel of a van which had crashed into a bungalow was continuing today.

Police believe the single-vehicle accident happened in Stowupland at about lunchtime yesterday but the collision was not reported to the force until 3.10pm.

A white Ford Escort van crashed into the porch of the bungalow in Church Road.

The male driver, believed to be in his 40s, was declared dead at the scene, although it is still unclear whether he died as a result of the crash.

The owners of the bungalow returned home from a holiday in Yorkshire at about 5.15pm, shocked to find what had happened.

Acting sergeant Phil Smith said the van looked like it was parked at the property, set back off the main road, and so was unlikely to arouse suspicion.

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“We are asking for anybody that may have seen the vehicle at any time prior to 3pm because what we don't know is when it occurred. We think it happened a lot earlier than reported,” he said.

Bungalow owners Sue and Richard Brown had been in Yorkshire for a week, dropping relatives back home after Christmas.

Mr Brown said they had been shocked to receive a call from their daughter to say there had been a “horrific” accident at their home.

He said: “It was a shock but the shock was mitigated by our daughter ringing us when we were driving down the A14.

“One of her work colleagues had called her saying there was a horrific accident at our house so she was really panicked.”

Jean Collis, the landlady of the Crown pub opposite the Brown's home, said she had seen the van at lunchtime but had assumed it was parked in front of the house.

She said: “I drove out to the shops at about 12.50pm and I saw the van but assumed it was the owners' or a relative of theirs. There was nobody lying on the floor and the van was all closed up like it was parked up.

“The porch is half demolished and the van also hit the front door. I imagine he came up the road and maybe he had a heart attack. It's all speculation at the moment.

“We just feel so sorry for his family - he was only a young chap.”

Acting Sgt Smith confirmed a male, roughly in his forties, had died at the scene and next-of-kin had been informed.

He added: “At the moment we are treating the investigation with an open mind.”

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the white van driving in the area at any time yesterday to call Pc Gary Buss at the Serious Collisions Investigations Team on 01473 613500.