UPDATE: Family pay tribute after fatal crash
The family of a man who died after a crash near Littlehampton have praised the emergency services for their attempts to save their father's life.
Michael Smith, of Warningcamp near Arundel, was involved in a collision with a car along the A284 Lyminster Road, near the Six Bells pub, in Wick, on Good Friday (March 25).
The 64-year-old was found lying in the carriageway when the emergency services arrived at 7.15pm.
Police said he had sustained serious injuries and died before reaching hospital.
Michael’s family have released the following statement: “Regrettably at this awful time we are being forced to issue this statement due to the incorrect reports, rumours and Chinese whispers regarding the sad death of our dad Michael ‘Maggot’ Smith.
“We and the police still have a million unanswered questions of this tragic accident that can only be resolved on completion of the investigations by the Scientific Forensic Team and pathologists, so we ask that people stop surmising their own stories.
“Our family are not the only ones affected and we would like to send our thanks and love to the police, Air Ambulance, paramedics and bystanders who will also be traumatised by this incident.
“As a family we have nothing but praise for all involved and trust that everything that could have been done was.
“We request that as a family consisting of children and the elderly that we are all left alone to grieve at this sad time.”
“From Michael’s children, Jamie, Jason, Nat, and the rest of the family.”
The incident has been reported to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Police said at around 5.45pm on the same day officers received reports that a man, later confirmed as being Michael Smith, was on the side of the same road, having stumbled into a fence near the scene.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said the incident was downgraded from an emergency due to officers being ‘heavily committed’ to other incidents in the area.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Sadly officers were unable to reach the scene before the fatal collision occurred.
“As a result of this, the incident is being referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by Sussex Police for assessment.”
Anyone who saw what happened or who may have other information is asked to email [email protected] or phone 101, quoting Operation Greenleaf.
Related stories: UPDATE: Littlehampton fatal crash victim named
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