Two men killed on Essex roads

THE Mounting death toll on Essex roads has risen after two separate accidents claimed the lives of two men. A 47-year-old cyclist was killed as he rode on a country lane near Colchester and a 33-year-old man died after he apparently fell out of a moving van in Dovercourt.

THE Mounting death toll on Essex roads has risen after two separate accidents claimed the lives of two men.

A 47-year-old cyclist was killed as he rode on a country lane near Colchester and a 33-year-old man died after he apparently fell out of a moving van in Dovercourt.

A total of five people have now died on the county's roads in the past seven days.

Shaun Lancaster, 33, of Lime Avenue, Dovercourt, was found lying in the road outside a church-run elderly people's home on Friday night.


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Witnesses saw Mr Lancaster either jump or fall out of the passenger side of a red Leyland DAF van in Marine Parade, Dovercourt, at about 6.30pm. Mr Lancaster died from head injuries.

Police sealed off Marine Parade, putting up a tent around the spot where he was found in the gutter outside the Methodist Home for the Aged.

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Mr Lancaster's family were too upset to speak last night.

The road remained closed until Saturday afternoon, causing traffic jams as shoppers were forced to turn back and take alternative routes.

People spoke of their shock after the accident, which left a busy seafront road sealed off for nearly 24 hours.

Scott Lawrie, of nearby Shaftesbury Avenue, said: "It's a little bit worrying. It's not the sort of thing that happens round here. It's a very safe area.

"I've been in the bookies. A lot of people are talking about it in there. This is the main bit of the high street, everybody's wondering why they can't drive down it."

George Heath, of Oakland Road, was in the bar at the Continental Hotel, just up the road from where the incident took place at the time.

"I happened to notice blue lights flashing, I just thought it was another accident. With cars parked on both sides there's often crunches."

He added: "I was quite shocked when I heard what had happened."

Gordon Walker, who lives in the nearest private home to where Mr Lancaster died, said: "These things happen all over the place."

A spokeswoman for Essex Police said a 50-year-old Harwich man is currently on police bail in connection with the incident, pending further investigation in relation to traffic offences. He is due to report to Clacton Police station on November 15.

A cyclist from West Mersea, who has not been named by police yet, was cycling towards Peldon on Maldon Road, Great Wigborough, when he was in collision with by a Peugeot 205 car being driven by a 22-year-old man at 4.15pm on Saturday.

Police are appealing for witnesses who either saw the crash or the dark coloured Peugeot 205 as it travelled along Maldon Road.

Road Policing Inspector Steve Brewer said: "This is a tragic incident. The man who died is believed to cycle this route on a regular basis. He was not participating in any form of time trials and he was wearing a safety helmet.

"We are investigating the cause of this crash and our sympathy goes out to the man's family."

The car driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on police bail to return to Colchester police on September 19.

Any witnesses to the crash should contact Stanway road policing unit on 01206 762512.

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