Lewes pensioner keen to trace van driver after crash


A Lewes pensioner has been left frustrated and out of pocket after being given incorrect details by a driver following a car crash.

Arthur Tapp was on his way to visit his wife in a care home no the Landport Estate, in Lewes, on Tuesday, May 5 when his car was struck by a white van.

The 81-year-old said: “It was about half past two in the afternoon. I was wanting to turn right into Kingsley Road but was waiting for the traffic to pass.

“There was a white van waiting to come out from Kingsley Road and although I had priority, we both went at the same time. There should have been enough room for us both to turn right, but next thing I know, he’s smashed into the side of my car.

“He reversed back into Kingsley Road and I pulled up next to him. We both got out of the car and he kept saying how pleased he was that neither of us suffered any injuries.

“I didn’t do a full inspection but I could see there was a large dent in the side of my car and I can only assume the front of his van suffered some form of damage too as it had been quite a hit.”

The van driver scribbled his details down and gave them to Mr Tapp, who thought little more of it until he tried to ring him later that day.

Mr Tapp said: “He’d crouched down in the cabin of his van and written his name, number and address down on the back of a street map.

“If I’d have been a bit more compos mentis at the time, I would have made sure to take his registration number, as he hadn’t written that down, but unfortunately I didn’t.

“I was very badly shaken up by the whole incident so I didn’t pay much attention to what was on the paper but he seemed very genuine and he kept apologising to me, admitting it had been his fault.

“On the evening of that day, I tried to ring the number he had given me but all I got was an automated message saying the number I had dialled had not been recognised.

“So, I drove down to the address he had given me in Hove and the person that lived there told me he’d moved from that address 12 months ago. Sure enough, the number he had given me was also the number he’d had at that address more than a year ago.”

Mr Tapp has made efforts to trace the man, including contacting the police, but has had no luck so far.

He added: “I’ve been waiting to see if I could contact the gentleman before taking my car to be fixed, because I was hoping his insurance company would pay for it. I will have to pay £95 excess at least and the cost of repair is looking to be more than £800. I’m very miffed by the whole thing and desperate to trace him.”