HAILSHAM: Inquiry into ambulance crash death

A FREAK accident in which a car crash victim died in an ambulance while being driven to hospital by a policeman will not be investigated by the police watchdog.

Thirty-one-year-old Daniel Martin, of Grange Close, Horam, was treated for life-threatening injuries after his Mini collided with an East Sussex County Council truck on the A271 Boreham Street near Herstmonceux last Friday December 17.

Because Mr Martin’s injuries were so severe, a Sussex Police Road Policing Officer drove the emergency services vehicle to hospital while both paramedics treated him in the back of the ambulance.

But in a tragic chain of events, the ambulance skidded off the road and hit a bush on Standard Hill in Ninfield while on its way to Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has said it will not be looking into the cause of the crash and an investigation will instead be handled locally by Sussex Police.

Sussex Police said it was unusual for police officers to drive ambulances.

“This is an unusual occurrence but assistance can and will be given by police in such circumstances, when any available medical staff need to concentrate full-time on treating their patient,” said a spokesman.

It is believed that Mr Martin was due to marry his long-term girlfriend next year.

Neighbours of Mr Martin described the 31-year-old as a ‘lovely man’.

One Grange Close resident said, “They are a lovely young couple. It is so sad this happened just before Christmas.”

A postmortem took place at Eastbourne District General Hospital on Wednesday, December 22.

The forensic pathologist has submitted a preliminary report of the findings to the East Sussex coroner, Alan Craze.

Toxicology tests have yet to be carried out before the pathologist’s final report is received in the New Year.