Stratford St Mary: Grandfather died on his way to work, inquest hears

THE FAMILY of a 69-year-old man who died following a road traffic accident near Sudbury have described him as “popular” and “gentle”.

Siblings Colin Harrison and Diana Smith spoke about their father Samuel Harrison, known as Peter, after yesterday’s inquest into his death.

Mr Harrison, of Spanbies Road, Stratford St Mary, had been on his way to work at Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club on March 15 this year when the collision happened on the A134 Assington Road at Newton.

At the inquest in Bury St Edmunds assistant deputy coroner for Greater Suffolk Kevin McCarthy concluded that the death was accidental, stating it was caused by multiple injuries as a result of a road traffic collision.

He also said the probable cause of why Mr Harrison’s car veered into the path of a white van, at about 12.10pm, was there had been a cardiac arrhythmia.

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Speaking after the inquest his family spoke of their shock that the postmortem had revealed Mr Harrison had had significant heart disease.

Colin, 44, who now lives in London, said: “None of us, including Peter himself, were aware of this condition and a full medical earlier this year gave him a clean bill of health.”

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He said his father had enjoyed his job of the last 10 years at Stoke-by-Nayland Golf Club.

“Peter liked to meet and talk to people, always making time to listen, and was a hugely popular man, as evidenced at his packed funeral service.

“As a father, he passed on invaluable life lessons and had high family values.”

He enjoyed jazz, playing squash and travelling, he said.

Diana, who also lives in London, said her father was still very much missed and his loss had “left a huge hole”.

They wanted to thank everyone who assisted at the accident scene, namely the general public and the emergency services, especially the Serious Collision Investigation Team who had supported the family over the past months.

The inquest heard how Max Dorling had been driving a Mercedes Sprinter van into Newton from the direction of Sudbury when he became aware of a red car directly in front of him on his side of the 30-mph road.

In his statement he said he tried to react, but there was not enough time for him to get out of the way.

Mr Harrison died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, despite the best efforts of those at the scene, including golfers from Newton Green Golf Club.

A toxicology examination revealed traces of prescription drugs, but nothing else.

Mr Harrison leaves behind a loving wife, Janet, of 44 years, a son and two daughters, and five grandchildren.

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