Man found dead in his van outside medical centre hours after appointment

The man was found dead in his van, which was stationary close to the Thornton Medical Centre's car park in Church Road.
The man was found dead in his van, which was stationary close to the Thornton Medical Centre's car park in Church Road.

A man was found dead behind the wheel of his van outside a medical centre, hours after being seen by staff there.

The 49-year-old is said to have suffered a fatal medical episode following an appointment at the Village Practice, based inside the Thornton Medical Centre.

Thornton Medical Centre, where The Village Practice is based

Thornton Medical Centre, where The Village Practice is based

The local man had been poorly for some time, a spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said, though his life was not thought to be in immediate danger.

He was found slumped over into the passenger seat of a stationary Citroen Dispatch moments after it was hit by a silver Toyota in Church Road, close to the centre's car park, at around 5.40pm.

His appointment had been in the morning, it is understood.

A passerby called 999, and paramedics later pronounced the man dead at the scene. His appointment at the practice had been in the morning.

One witness described seeing Church Road closed and blankets placed over the van. "It didn't look good," she added.

The woman driving the Toyota was unhurt in the crash, which was described as a 'very low speed collision' by a police inspector.

He told The Gazette last night: "It would appear this car has been parked and another car has gone into him.

"The other driver has seen this male slumped in the seat and did nothing, thinking that he was fast asleep, drunk or on drugs.

"We do not believe the cause of the death is to do with the accident as it was a very low speed collision. We believe there was a medical cause for the death and it is not being treated as suspicious."

The man’s family has been told of his death, while Lancashire coroner Dr James Adeley confirmed the death had been reported to him.

He said: "As yet no date has been set for the inquest to be opened."

The Village Practice is one of two GP surgeries in the medical centre, which was rated ‘good’ following an inspection last year. The other is The Thornton Practice.

“The heartfelt condolences of all staff and GPs at The Village Practice go out to the family of this man at what must be a very difficult time,” the practice said.

It did not say what type of appointment the man had attended.