A family has thanked the people of Coltishall for rallying round following the tragic death of a man who was knocked over by a runaway trailer.

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Roger Collins, 72, was walking with his “constant companion” Guy, a springer spaniel, when a trailer came loose from a car, careered onto the pavement and ran him over, on November 13.

A Norfolk police spokesman said the investigation into the incident was now being carried out by the Serious Collision Investigation Team.

Mr Collins was airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge with severe head injuries, and later transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he died on January 1.

An inquest was opened and adjourned in Norwich on Tuesday, where the cause of death was given as pneumonia as a result of severe head injuries suffered in the incident.

Mr Collins’ second cousin, Gill Riley, who also lives in Coltishall, paid tribute to him, as a “kind-hearted” man who was very popular in the village.

She said: “He will be missed by many people. We never realised how many people knew him or how popular he was.

“He was an all-round good chap. The people in the village all rallied round after the accident, and people were walking his dog twice a day, just to help out. It was awful for him what happened.”

She said the family was at his bedside when he died. His hobbies included shooting, cricket and football, and walking his dog, who is now living with her, she said.

As reported, Mr Collins was delivering bread to Gill’s mother, Margaret Riley outside the King’s Head pub at Coltishall, when a trailer being towed by a green Skoda Octavia along the B1354 Wroxham Road from Hoveton became detached. The force of the impact caused damage to the decking outside the pub.

Mr Collins, a bachelor who lived on his own, was no more than 200 yards from his White Lion Road home.

Mr Collins grew up at Ilford in Essex. But the family home was at Coltishall, and in the 1940s, when he was a baby, he spent time living in the village when their Essex home was bombed.

After a long spell working for London Assurance, about 30 years ago Mr Collins moved to Coltishall, and he worked for Norwich Union in Norwich for more than two decades.

The driver of the car that was towing the trailer, who has not been named, returned to the King’s Head after the accident to ask after Mr Collins.

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “The investigation is now being carried out by the Serious Collision Investigation Team and is ongoing. There have been no arrests or prosecutions at this stage.”

The funeral will be held at Coltishall Church at midday on January 28.

david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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