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Eastbourne OAP drives mobility scooter over Beachy Head
UPDATE: An elderly man who drove his mobility scooter off Beachy Head yesterday afternoon has been named as Victor Newton, 81, from Langney in Eastbourne.
Sussex Police , who were called to the suicide hotspot at 2.45pm yesterday, said today they were not treating the death as suspicious. The coroner has been informed.
A spokesman for the force said: “We received a call from a member of the public reporting an elderly male on an invalid scooter falling over the edge of the clifftop near the Beachy Head pub.”
The pensioner’s body was retrieved by Royal National Lifeboat Institution crews from Eastbourne and Birling Gap.
Once he has been identified police are expected to prepare a report for the East Sussex coroner about the circumstances of the fall.
Officers were taking statements from witnesses at the scene yesterday afternoon.
Jack Froud, who was working at the Beachy Head pub, said staff were aware a tragedy had occurred.
He said: “There was quite a scene. It went on for a good half an hour.
“Staff said there were police cars, and they had the lifeboat helicopter and the chaplains down there. It is not really an uncommon thing here.”
The death came days after a 36-year-old man survived a fall from cliffs nearby. He was flown to King’s College Hospital in London to be treated for severe head injuries after the fall on Tuesday.
According to the most recent figures published by the Beachy Head chaplaincy team, who intervene to stop people killing themselves, in June this year 63 clifftop searches took place and 21 people were rescued. Five bodies were recovered. In May 17 people were rescued after 61 alerts. One body was recovered.
Anyone who saw what happened on Sunday is asked to call Sussex Police on 101.
Did you know Mr Newton? Email firstname.lastname@example.org .