Nutley leak had been reported

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Sussex Police are investigating reports that a frozen-over water leak at the site of a fatal road crash, had already been reported to the water company.

Michael Long, 79, from Hop Gardens, Fairwarp, was riding along the A22 through Nutley on December 28 when he was in collision with a car at about 10am. The accident happened possibly as a result of frozen water on the carriageway.

The air ambulance was called but Mr Long was pronounced dead at the scene. The car driver, a 32 year old from East Grinstead, was unhurt.

It has been reported that the leak in Nutley High Street, close to the service station, was repaired after Mr Long’s accident. A police spokesman said investigating officers are looking into whether or not the leak had played a part in the crash.

A short distance from the crash site a water pipe maintained by South East Water had sprung a leak. The water appeared to have flowed onto the road and frozen over during the bitterly cold night.

People in Nutley say that the leak had been a problem for a while and they had reported it to South East Water.

A South East Water spokeswoman said: “The repair that we carried out in Nutley on Sunday, December 28 was for a small leak on a communication pipe located in the verge adjacent to a road gully and we can confirm that a minor leak in Nutley village had previously been reported to us.”

Officers are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them on email at collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting Operation Dale.