A driver who ran down and killed a 23-year-old had been flashed by a fellow motorist that his victim was in the road.
Mark Hill passed Kalan Fletcher walking on the opposite carriageway moments before he was struck on the A23 London Road at Hassocks.
He told an inquest at Horsham that when he saw another driver heading in the other direction at about 4.30am on October 22 last year he flashed his lights at him to try to alert him to the figure in the road .
But Mr Fletcher, on his way back from a 21st birthday, was knocked down and killed.
The driver who struck him drove off and has never been caught. Police have named him as Imran Shaukat, then 27, an illegal immigrant who was living in Worthing at the time.
Agne Tamosauskaithe, from Burgess Hill, who was with Mr Fletcher on the night he died, described how she had gone into nearby bushes to relieve herself.
When she returned from the bushes her friend was lying dead in the road.
His body had been found by Jeffrey Sime, from Hassocks, who was on his way to work. Mr Sime called 999 but Mr Fletcher, from Keymer, was already dead.
Because Shaukat could not be traced to give evidence and it is unclear exactly what happened in the collision, West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield recorded a narrative verdict that Mr Fletcher died after being struck by a van.
Stella Hawker, Mr Fletcher’s mother, said: “I nearly broke down at one point in the inquest. We need Shaukat to come forward. There is no indication of where he is.
“Kalan was responsible. He got a taxi home and did not drink and drive.”
The police investigation and the bid to trace Shaukat is ongoing.
If you can help police with their enquiries please call 101 quoting Operation Primary.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Shops selling booze to teens are snared
- Police drop Hove murder investigation after post mortem says woman died from natural causes
- Driver loses control and crashes after being pursued by police
- CCTV: 16-year-old boy "headbutted in the face" by man asking for cigarette paper
- Two car crash in Brighton