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Crash with ambulance in Marina Drive in Brighton killed driver ‘instantly’
A driver suffered fatal head injuries after turning into the path of an ambulance, an inquest has found.
Gary Tucker, 45, collided with the ambulance and suffered massive head trauma.
A coroner at Brighton Magistrates’ Court said yesterday he would have known nothing about the crash and died instantly.
The inquest heard Mr Tucker, of Longridge Avenue, Saltdean, and friend Andrew Brown were driving in the inside lane east along Marina Drive at around 10.30pm on February 28.
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Ambulance driver Richard Cook was travelling in the outside lane at 60mph with his sirens and blue lights on as he approached Mr Tucker’s car.
Mr Brown said he recalled saying “go for it” after his friend asked him if they should take a right turn, opposite Roedean Cafe.
Mr Brown was seriously injured in the accident. He later regained consciousness in the road and was so disoriented he thought he had been abducted by aliens.
The ambulance driver said Mr Tucker had made the right turn from the inside lane so quickly that he had no time or space to avoid a collision.
Mr Cook did not see an indicator and said, “I think we’re going to crash” before the vehicles collided.
Initially trapped, the medics managed to get out of the badly damaged ambulance and went to treat the injured pair.
A second ambulance crew travelling behind also went to their aid but Mr Tucker suffered injuries “incompatible with life”.
Back-up clinicians battled to resuscitate him for an hour but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Brighton and Hove Coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said the emergency services were “badly affected” by what happened.
A family friend said mother Pamela Tucker had described Gary as a “wonderful son” and was devastated by her loss.
Kevin James, a friend of Mr Tucker for 22 years, said: “For me it feels like closure as we’ve got the full facts of what happened but at the end of the day it doesn’t bring Gary back.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We’re extremely thankful to the emergency services for all the work they did to try and save him.”
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