AN elderly man who died after he was knocked down by a police car responding to an emergency "would have been visible from about 80 metres away," an inquest heard.

David Ormesher died during the early hours of August 25, 2017, when he was struck by a police car travelling at "approximately 60mph" in Edward Street, Brighton, where the speed limit is 20mph.

The 79-year-old from near Poole in Dorset suffered multiple injuries, including a serious head injury and cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services at 1.44am.

PC Richard Harris, who was driving the marked Ford Mondeo police car, was travelling to an incident on Brighton beach where a woman was threatening to kill herself when the collision happened shortly before 1am.

He was travelling from the eastern side of the city with PC Samantha Cooper in the passenger seat, heading west from Eastern Road onto Edward Street.

The Argus: Photos from the scene of the crash in Edward Street by Eddie MitchellPhotos from the scene of the crash in Edward Street by Eddie Mitchell

Mr Ormesher had been crossing the street heading south when the crash happened, just metres beyond the junction with Upper Rock Gardens.

An inquest into Mr Ormesher's death began yesterday at the Jury's Inn Hotel in Stroudley Road, Brighton, and a jury was sworn in for the six-day hearing.

Notes in the ambulance records for the incident said the victim had been hit at an estimated speed of approximately 60mph.

The court heard from forensic collision investigator Stephen Cash, who was asked to investigate the crash by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Mr Cash showed the court reconstruction videos of the route PC Harris took on the night of the fatal crash, and the speed limits for each road.

He also calculated the approximate spot where Mr Ormesher would have been in Edward Street when the car approached.

He said: "From my assessment you could see him standing on the central reservation from about 80 metres away.

The Argus:

"At night time it gets difficult. The street lighting was working at the time of the collision, as I understand."

Senior coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said there were no eye witnesses to the crash and asked how much notice Mr Ormesher would have had of the police car approaching, from his perspective further down the hill.

Mr Cash said: "He probably had about 100 metres of vision. It would have been blind to start with but you've got the blue lights flashing, which would have been reflected, and maybe a 20 metre view of the car approaching.

"When people cross the road they will see a car approaching and look at the distance and calculate if there is ample time to cross.

"The difficulty arises when pedestrians see the car and just get the speed wrong and think they have longer to cross. This was a 20mph speed limit."

Mr Ormesher, who was last employed as a tool maker, had been staying in Brighton to help renovate a property owned by a family friend, the court heard.

The Argus:

He had been making his way back to the house in Portland Place after an evening listening to live piano music at a bar.

A post mortem examination found the amount of alcohol in his blood was just under two times the drink driving limit, at 148mg per 100ml.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley said: "We need to consider how well he knew the area.

"He had been to Brighton before but would not have been completely aware of the speed limits.

"It all happened extraordinarily quickly. From the time the police car turned into Eastern Road from Arundel Road and the collision, it was less than two minutes."

The hearing continues.