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Fatal Words of Road Victim.

Tuesday, 19th November 2002.

A MAN told a police control room operator "I might as well lie down here and get run over" just seconds before he was killed by an oncoming car, an inquest heard.

Robert Barr, who was knocked down by a Vauxhall Astra on the A1307 between Linton and Haverhill, was "ranting" with rage, according to operator William Washington.

In a statement read to the inquest at Cambridge's Shire Hall, he explained how Mr Barr, who claimed he was being pursued by 30 men, was angry the police had not come to his aid.

The inquest heard how the 26-year-old told Mr Washington: "If I'm going to get my head kicked in I might as well lie down here and get run over."

Seconds later Mr Washington said he heard loud screams and immediately went to call an ambulance.

"I felt numb in the head," said Mr Washington.

"Something told me I didn't believe what I had just heard."

Mr Barr had been on his way home from Cambridge with his workmate Blake Fitzgerald on July 7 when the accident happened just after midnight.

The two men had earlier been thrown off a bus when Mr Barr punched another man in the head following an argument.

Mr Barr was then attacked by a group of youths as they passed through Linton. A few minutes later Mr Barr, who lived at Sorrell Walk in Haverhill, was dead.

Derek Burgin, the driver of the Vauxhall Astra, described how he saw a bare-chested man waving his arms wildly in the road.

"I moved into the other lane to avoid hitting him but shortly after I hit something in the road," said the 31-year-old from Haverhill.

Mr Burgin, who could still face criminal charges relating to the incident, thought he had hit a road sign.

He returned to the scene a short while later and his partner phoned the police.

Tests revealed Mr Barr had 223 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, nearly three times the legal drink drive limit.

He had been drinking with Mr Fitzgerald in the Regal pub in Regent Street, Cambridge, earlier in the evening.

Coroner David Morris returned a verdict of accidental death.

Haverhill Weekly News

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