Linslade man died while lying in the road

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A young man from Linslade tragically died after being hit by a car as he lay in a road in the early hours of the morning, an inquest heard.

Coroner Ian Pears said it could not be known why Jamie Parker, 19, was lying in Southcourt Avenue, Linslade, on May 20 when a car ran over him.

Jamie had been on a night out with friends and was believed to be in his way home when the incident happened.

The driver told Tuesday’s inquest in Ampthill courthouse that there was an “unnatural” feel and after turning around at the next roundabout, he revisited the scene and called police.

He said: “As I was coming over the slight hill, I went over an object or what I thought was an object.

“It just looked like a blue object, a lump in the middle of the road ... it felt completely unnatural so at the roundabout at the bottom of the road, I went around and came back to see what I’d gone over.

“I called the ambulance at first and then the police, I was able to stop any other drivers from coming over.”

Mr Parker was pronounced dead by paramedics at 4.25am. Besides injuries from the collision, a postmortem found high alcohol levels in his system.

At Tuesday’s inquest, Mr Parker’s father and stepfather questioned the driver over the details of the collision and his own schedule that morning. Asked why he hadn’t stopped after spotting the object, the driver said: “Simply, by the time I’d seen it, there wasn’t time to stop or break.”

Collision investigator PC Bruce Lister said that a reconstruction had been carried out and concluded that the driver would have had insufficient time to react. There was no evidence of speeding or mobile phone use at the time of the collision.

A statement was read out from Darryl Tarrant, a night manager at Tesco superstore on Vimy Road where Mr Parker worked. He said that Mr Parker had earlier been found asleep in the store’s disabled toilets at around 3.10am.

Although Mr Parker was an employee at the store, he was understood to have gone there after a night out with friends. After being helped out of the toilets, he was led out via a fire exit around ten to 15 minutes later and told to go home.

In his conclusion, acting senior coroner Ian Pears gave a narrative to the cause of death. He said: “It seems Jamie Parker had been on a night out with friends. He decided to walk home rather than take the taxi that was offered.

“At some point, he appears to have gone into work. He was discovered asleep in the toilets, he was woken up and removed from the premises. He then appears to have found himself in Southcourt Avenue where for reasons unknown he was lying in the street.

“This was some time between 3.30am and 4am. It was dark and at that point [the driver] was driving from his home to work. He came across a blue bundle in the road and did not perceive that it was a person.

“Obviously, he ran over [Jamie] - avoiding full contact with his body but nevertheless the injuries were such that poor Jamie died. Jamie was also heavily intoxicated.”

A primary cause of death was given as multiple injuries from a road collision, with alcohol intoxication as a secondary cause. The coroner also added to the death certificate a brief outline of the circumstances of the collision.