Flitwick father Ross Cowling killed on way home for Christmas

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Ross CowlingImage source, Bedfordshire Police
Image caption,
Ross Cowling was walking "on the wrong side of the road, well out in the road and in the dark", the coroner said

A father was killed while taking presents to his daughters on Christmas Eve, an inquest heard.

Ross Cowling, 37, was hit by a car in Maulden Road on Flitwick, Bedfordshire, while walking in the dark carrying two bags of presents for his daughters.

An inquest at Ampthill Coroner's Court was told the driver did not have enough time to react and hit him from behind.

Toxicology reports showed Mr Cowling, from Luton, had taken heroin, cocaine and possibly cannabis.

The cause of Mr Cowling's death was traumatic head injury, Bedfordshire coroner Ian Pears said. He recorded the verdict that the father-of-two died in a road traffic collision.

"The evidence is quite clear," Mr Pears said.

"Ross was walking on the wrong side of the road, well out in the road and in the dark. He didn't stand a chance."

Image source, SBNA
Image caption,
A memorial to Mr Cowling has been left at the roadside near to where the father-of-two died

The Land Rover involved in the crash had been doing between 21 and 40mph on the road which, at that point, had a 60mph limit, the court heard.

Mr Cowling's family said they were "absolutely devastated" by his death.

"Ross was a loving, father, brother, uncle and son. He had been on his way home to spend Christmas with his family. Ross leaves two daughters, aged 10 and eight. We are all heartbroken," they said at the time.