A MAN was left with 'catastrophic and unsurvivable' injuries after being hit by a car — an incident which could have been avoided according to crash investigators.

Richard Vickers, 52, died after a car crash in Belmont Road on December 20, 2018.

Witnesses said he appeared in the road suddenly, emerging from in between parked cars near the Bar Lane junction — 25 metres away from a pedestrian crossing.

Stuart Latchford, the driver of the Ford Focus involved in the crash told the inquest: "It was dark. I saw him when he was about three, four, five feet in front of the car. I tried to brake as soon as I saw him.

"I think he slowed down in the middle of the road and then he darted. I think he thought 'I can make it'.

"I turned the steering wheel to the left but then he started running across the road and ran into where I was trying to steer."

Coroner Alan Walsh said: "It is likely Mr Vickers was behind behind vehicles travelling in the opposite direction to Mr Latchford.

"This would have masked Mr Vickers from Mr Latchford's observation."

Mr Vickers was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital and was found to have fractures all over his body, including at the base of his skull, at his temples, spine, legs and pelvis.

After weeks in hospital, Mr Vickers deteriorated further and was found to have severe pneumonia.

No improvement was made, and the decision was taken to move Mr Vickers into palliative care. He died in hospital on January 20 — just over a month after the crash.

The collision may have been avoided completely had Mr Vickers remained in the centre of the road, according to crash investigator Paul Terry.

The coroner added: "He clearly misjudged the traffic. He may have thought he had the opportunity to cross in front of the car.

"Catastrophic injuries were sustained."

Mr Terry also told the inquest on Tuesday that Mr Latchford had been driving 36mph in a 30 zone on the approach to the crash site, but said it was not a contributing factor.

Mr Terry said: "The damage indicates that Mr Vickers ran into the side of the car rather than being hit by the car.

"The collision would have occurred even without these factors. There was not enough time for Mr Latchford to detect or respond to Mr Vickers in the road."

Mr Vickers had been struggling with alcohol and drug addiction for years, said his only son Kyle Vickers in a statement: "My father was the first to admit he was addicted to heroin and was an alcoholic. I always remember he said he would give up drinking and doing drugs and I am sure he did try but he never managed it."

But Mr Vickers still made time for his young granddaughter, said Kyle Vickers: "He would his best to make sure he got presents for her every Christmas."

Members of Bolton's drug services team told the inquest that Mr Vickers made some progress with his drug abuse, regularly taking methadone instead. There were still a number of substances found in his system, though they were at low levels.

Mr Walsh said: "The substances may affect someone's behaviour but there is no saying whether it did and was certainly not at high levels."

Mr Walsh recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision, with the cause of death identified as pneumonia after multiple injuries.