Man Died After Being Hit By Car, Inquest Heard

A SHOOTING enthusiast was hit by a car as he walked along an unlit road on a dark night. Michael Cornwell, 41, an unmarried machine setter who had recently been made redundant, set out on his daily afternoon walk alongside his father Jack. The pair, who

A SHOOTING enthusiast was hit by a car as he walked along an unlit road on a dark night.

Michael Cornwell, 41, an unmarried machine setter who had recently been made redundant, set out on his daily afternoon walk alongside his father Jack.

The pair, who lived in the family home at Brangehill Lane, Mepal, set out across fields at 3pm on a dark December day.

Jack, who appeared at the inquest into his son's death leaning heavily on a stick, said in a statement that Michael would regularly bring a gun along to "shoot the odd pigeon," and they would often walk at different paces, meeting up to head home together. That day, Jack headed for home while he could still hear the noise of Michael's gun, expecting his son to catch up with him, but his son was hit by a car.


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On the day of his death, Michael was wearing a dark green wax jacket, black trousers and dark boots, with a woolly hat covering his dark hair. When Ford Transit van driver Terence Read headed home from work at 5pm along the Witcham Road, with headlights on dipped beam, he failed to notice Mr Cornwell at the side of the road next to an opening in the hedgerow. The Transit van, travelling at around 50mph, hit him from behind.

"There isn't really much I can say," van driver Terence Read told police at an earlier interview.

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"All of a sudden a dark object appeared from nowhere. There was nothing there, and then there was a dark object, and I hit it."

"My first thought was that it may have been a dog or a deer. My initial reaction was shock. I never expected it to be a body."

Mr Read described seeing a hand and a boot sticking out of the hedge as he and his son James ran back along the road. A Volvo driver stopped to help and they tried to drag Mr Cornwell out of the hedge to resuscitate him, on the advice of paramedics. Both men were qualified first aiders but they were unable to revive him. Mr Cornwell was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, deputy assistant coroner for north and east Cambridgeshire offered his condolences to the Cornwell family.

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