A38 crash victim found dead in Plymouth flat
A PENSIONER badly injured in an A38 horror smash earlier this year has been found dead in a pool of blood in his own flat.
Albert Roach, 85, was taken to Derriford Hospital after a crash involving his red Rover 420 and an HGV on January 9.
He was sent home from hospital about four weeks ago, according to his son Robbie.
Last Wednesday Robbie and his partner, Julie Preston, found Mr Roach on the floor of his flat.
"It was a terrible thing to see," Robbie told The Herald.
Police said last night they were treating Mr Roach's death with "an open mind".
Robbie said that Ms Preston went up to the flat in Hetling Close, off North Road West, ahead of him at about 12.30pm.
He said the door to the flat was locked.
"It was my 54th birthday and we were going to take him out for a meal and then announce that we were getting engaged," he said.
"Julie screamed. I ran up and there was Dad lying in a pool of blood by the settee.
"I touched him on the neck and couldn't feel anything, but I already knew he had gone. He was cold."
Robbie said he had been at the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989 when 96 football fans were crushed to death, and knew what a dead person looked like.
"Me and Julie are trying to get over it but it just keeps on coming back.
"In hospital he was awake and fine and there was no hint it was going to end like this.
"When he came out he had to wear a neck collar and go back for X-rays, but they said he was fine.
"I can't understand how he could be fine one moment and laid out in a mortuary the next."
Robbie paid tribute to his father. They lived together in the flat, which they owned jointly.
"He was a lovely guy and well liked," Robbie said.
"He would pass the time of day with the neighbours. They loved him.
"He loved Arsenal and watching telly, and used to play euchre for the Blockhouse in Stoke village.
"He was also a member of the RAOB (the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes social club).
"He was an outgoing sort of chap."
Mr Roach used to work at Devonport Dockyard.
"He got on with everybody," Robbie said. "He was a real swell guy. I miss him so much."
He said the police took away his keys and clothes and that the couple were still not being allowed back into the flat yesterday – five days after the grim discovery.
Police said a post-mortem examination was being carried out yesterday afternoon to establish the cause of death and a report would be submitted to the coroner.
Mr Roach's accident happened at about 1.50pm on Wednesday, January 9, on the A38 at Manadon on the eastbound carriageway.
The collision involved a fully loaded recycling lorry driven by a 42-year-old man from the Ashburton area.
At the time of the accident police said Mr Roach had to be cut free from his car with a serious neck injury.
Police said yesterday that the HGV driver had not been arrested in connection with the accident.