Ipswich: Man died after running out in front of bus on Wherstead Road – witnesses

IPSWICH: Police were today hoping to name a 47-year-old man who died in a collision with a bus on one of the town’s busiest roads.

Meanwhile the shocked bus driver is due to return to work today after receiving counselling from his employers after the accident.

The incident led to the closure of Wherstead Road for several hours on Saturday afternoon, meaning thousands of football fans were caught up in traffic while trying to make their way to Portman Road for the match against Bristol City.

Police said witnesses on the bus and in the area had clearly seen what happened.

A police spokeswoman said: “Officers were contacted by a member of the public just before 1.30pm on Saturday March 3, who reported a man had run out in front of a bus and been struck by it.

“Police immediately attended, along with the ambulance service, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The victim is believed to have lived locally – but the police are still attempting to contact his next of kin.

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One resident, who did not want to be named, said he heard a screech of brakes and then the sound of two-tone sirens as the police and ambulance arrived at the scene.

A small bunch of daffodils was left on the pavement next to the site of the tragedy – just a few feet from a bus stop.

The bus was on a service from Shotley to Ipswich, but police were unable to say whether it was slowing down as it approached the bus stop -that will be part of their investigation into the accident.

It is understood that the police are satisfied that the bus was travelling well under the 30mph speed limit that is in force along Wherstead Road.

The bus involved in Saturday’s tragedy is expected to be back in operation soon.

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said the vehicle had not been seriously damaged, and would return to service once the front windscreen had been replaced.

Police investigators have been examining the vehicle, but it was expected to be handed back to the company early this week.

The Health and Safety Executive had been informed, but Mr Robson did not expect them to demand a full inspection of the vehicle because its condition was not considered a factor in the accident.

All the buses have to be tested and checked regularly, and these records are logged with transport commissioners.

Mr Robson said the driver had been badly shaken by the accident. After telling police what had happened he had returned to the depot and then gone home.

He is due back at work today when he will be asked if he his ready to go back to driving.

Mr Robson said: “He will probably take out a bus and drive the route accompanied by a colleague, the company chaplain, to see if he is happy about going back to work.”

He said there were about 12 people on the bus at the time of the accident and those who had seen what had happened had told the police the driver could not have prevented the tragedy.

Do you know the victim and wish to pay tribute? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk