A good neighbour is fighting for his life after being knocked over by a runaway trailer while delivering bread to his elderly cousin.

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

He was airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital at Cambridge with severe head injuries, leaving worried relatives praying for his recovery - and Guy, who was unhurt, “lost” without his beloved master.

The incident happened 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, was walking no more than 200 yards from his White Lion Road home to the house of his cousin Margaret Riley.

Mrs Riley, who is looking after Guy while his master battles to recover from his injuries, said: “He was walking with his dog and coming up to bring me some bread, as he often did. It’s so awful that this has happened to him.”

Mrs Riley’s daughter Gillian, who has been to Addenbrookes to visit Mr Collins, lives next door with her partner Jake Lynch.

Mr Lynch said Guy was Mr Collins’ “constant companion”, and added: “He’s feeling a bit lost without Roger.”

He added: “This really hasn’t sunk in yet. You can’t imagine something like this happening to someone like Roger.”

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.

Steve Haines, owner of the Mace shop and Post Office next to the King’s Head, was in his shop when the accident happened at 3.35pm on Tuesday and saw the aftermath.

He said: “He was just walking down the road with his dog when the car came down the road, the trailer came off and it flattened him. It’s an awful thing to happen.”

Kevin Gardner, landlord of the King’s Head, said: “The trailer went over the top of Roger and left him in a very bad way. You can see where the trailer finished by the damage to the decking outside the pub.

“There’s a lot of shock here. He’s a well-known villager and we can’t believe how unlucky this poor man has been.”

Mr Gardner said the driver of the car that was towing the trailer, who has not been named, had been back the King’s Head on Wednesday morning to ask after Mr Collins, who is in a critical condition. He said: “He was genuinely very upset and concerned.”

Another witness, Paul Martin, said it was “awful”, and added: “He really was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The road was closed until 8pm on Tuesday.

Officers want to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed this collision or anyone who may have seen the manner of driving of the Skoda. Contact PC Simone Sutcliffe at Acle roads policing on 101.

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