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A father was left fighting for his life after being injured in an apparent “car surfing” stunt.

Ben Dunbar suffered critical head injuries after falling from the roof of a moving Volkswagen Transporter van in Worthing .

Witnesses told police they had seen a man on the roof of a van in Broadwater before the 26-year-old from Lancing was injured in Charmandean Road.

Mr Dunbar fell from the van as it braked close to the junction with Bramley Road.

The accident took place right outside his aunt and uncle's home and Mr Dunbar's uncle was one of the first people on the scene.

His uncle was assisting paramedics when he recognised his nephew.

A neighbour whose CCTV cameras captured the incident said: “It appears he was hanging on the side of the van when it came round the corner and was flung off.

“The driver of the van was the first one to attend to him. He was on his phone.

“He was lying in the driveway of one of my neighbours.

“The paramedics were working on him for ages. They were working really hard, trying desperately to save him.

“My neighbour was holding the fluid bag for the paramedics and when they cut his clothes off he saw his tattoos and realised it was his nephew. His wife came out and he made her go back indoors before she saw it.

“It sounds like it might have just been a silly prank that has ended with a young man's life hanging in the balance.”

Paramedics spent more than half an hour working on Mr Dunbar before he was flown to Southampton General by air ambulance, where he remained in a coma last night.

A 27-year-old man from Goring was arrested on suspicion of drink driving, driving without due care and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was released on police bail until June 24

Jason James of nearby Leigh Road said: “I heard the helicopter at about midnight. There were police cars blocking off the road.

“They were there a while before they airlifted him.

“This is a busy road but not at that time of night.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said they were still trying to establish why Mr Dunbar was on the roof of the van.

Sergeant Stewart Goodwin, of the Arundel road policing unit, said: "We would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened or who may have information about exactly where the casualty was prior to being injured."

In 2011 Sussex Police issued a warning against car surfing after a 17 year old boy and 21 year old man were banned from driving after being caught on CCTV car surfing in Midhurst .

In 2009 a 19 year old girl was seriously injured after car surfing at the sports park in Piddinghoe Avenue, Peacehaven.

The driver has now been released on bail until June 24.

Anyone who saw what happened is urged to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk, quoting Operation Paisley.