Teen 'acted strangely' before A14 death

A 17-year-old boy who was killed while walking in the middle of the fast lane of the A14 dual carriageway was said to have had a fascination with the energy of the road.

A 17-year-old boy who was killed while walking in the middle of the fast lane of the A14 dual carriageway was said to have had a fascination with the energy of the road.

Dean Potter, of The Green, Hessett, was struck by a Mercedes vehicle at around 9.45pm on January 31, this year.

The inquest into his death, held in Bury St Edmunds, heard that he had been acting very strangely in the lead up to his death.

The inquest heard that he had a transfixion with the film the Matrix and had been acting in a very puzzling manner.


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His mother Vicky Hannington said: "He just wasn't making any sense and he was acting in a very puzzling way."

Mr Potter was said to have had very hot baths in an effort to "sweat out" what was inside him. Ms Hannington had found some cannabis resin in his room and also some white powder before Christmas, which she confronted Dean about at a later date.

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Ms Hannington told the inquest that Dean would regularly go out to a caravan that was round his friend's house and would spend a lot of time in this. She found it very difficult to keep him at home.

She said: "I was at my wits end, I didn't know what to do."

On the day of Dean's death, he had been taken into Bury St Edmunds' hospital by one of his friends' mothers although he was released later on that day and taken back home by a friend.

A friend of Dean's family, who had taken him to the hospital said she was very concerned about the mental state of Dean and said he had been acting in a childlike manner. He was said to refer to cars as stars and in her opinion was mentally ill.

Dean was seen walking along the eastbound A14 carriageway near to the junction for Woolpit by several motorists before the accident. Police received five calls from these motorists. Dean was said to be walking along the middle of the carriageway and was narrowly missed by several vehicles.

At 9.45pm he was hit by the nearside of a Mercedes vehicle which threw him around 30 metres from the scene.

Following the accident a Ford Escort crashed into the back of the Mercedes car.

Dean died instantly from his injuries. He was said to have multiple fractures to his skull and severe brain injuries.

A toxicology examination found traces of cannabis in Dean's urine, although it is not thought that this would have affected his judgement.

Pc Chris Rodder said there was no reason to believe that the Mercedes car had been speeding and there were no scuff marks at the scene. Driving conditions were said to be damp but reasonable.

The inquest continues.

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