An 86-year-old man has tragically died after being hit by a car in Walsall Wood - just minutes after making his daily early morning trip to buy a newspaper.
The pensioner was hit in Walsall Wood High Street early today and rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he later died.
Police and paramedics were called to the scene at around 5.50am and the road was shut for several hours between Salter’s Road and Coppice Road for investigations to be carried out.
The car, a silver Ford Mondeo, smashed into a wall after hitting the pensioner and came to rest outside the Boatman’s Rest pub.
Rash Patel, who runs Costcutter in the High Street, said he served the elderly man his morning paper minutes before he was hit by the car, as he has done for the last 11 years.
“I served him with his morning paper. It was part of his daily routine,” said Mr Patel, aged 59.
“He lived across the road and he would come over every day. He’d been coming here for around 11 years.
“He was a very strong-willed man and very pleasant.”
Mr Patel said that the man, who is believed to live close to where the crash took place, would cross the road to collect his morning paper every day.
The shopkeeper, who described hearing ‘a bang and a screeching noise’ while in his shop, called the police and ambulance crews after the smash.
The man’s neighbour Jenny Lawley said: “He was a nice guy and was well known in the area.
“He used to be well known for using a mobility scooter, but had recently had an operation and was walking regularly.
“Everybody in the area is in complete shock.”
In Walsall Wood after a serious crash. Elderly man has life threatening injuries. Neighbours in shock. pic.twitter.com/oxLsJnUEUF— Rob Golledge (@golledge_star) January 24, 2014
Another nearby resident, Mrs Janis Rogers, said the whole neighbourhood had been ‘shocked and saddend’ by the accident.
“He was a pleasant man. I spoke to him whenever we crossed paths,” said 59-year-old Mrs Rogers, who has lived in the area for 21 years.
“Nobody can believe what has happened. It has caused a lot of shock and upset.”
Ibrar Yasin, aged 27, who works for taxi firm AAA Bee Jay Private Hire in the High Street, said he arrived at around 6.10am and witnessed the aftermath of the crash.
“I got a call to say there had been a really bad smash and when I arrived it was quite evident an elderly man had been struck by a car,” said Mr Yasin.
“The man lived locally and was well-known by the shopkeepers.”
The road was reopened to pedestrians by 9.20am, once the police had carried out investigations.
Motorists were advised to avoid the area if possible.
A spokesman from West Midlands Police this morning said: “Police were called to the scene of a serious collision in Walsall Wood which happened in the early hours of this morning.
“Officers were called at 5.48am following reports that a car had collided with an elderly man in High Street, Walsall Wood.
“The man suffered serious injuries."
Those with information should call the West Midland’s Police Collision Investigation Unit on 101.