HE WAS the Good Samaritan who stopped to help others following a crash in the New Forest.

Pensioner Graham Manning, 71, died while directing traffic on the A35 near Burley, an inquest heard.

He was driving with his partner when he saw a car had come off the road on to a verge, Winchester Coroner’s Court heard.

In his efforts to assist the flow of vehicles following the incident, he was hit by a silver Mitsubishi Space Star and died at the scene from a fractured skull.

His partner, Pauline Nicholson, said: “Graham would do anything for anybody. He didn’t have a lot of money but he would always be there to help people. He would never have thought of driving straight by. That is just the sort of person he was really.”

Speaking about the incident, she said: “I heard two very dull thuds. I turned around and saw Graham’s high visibility vest being carried along by a car at road height.”

In a statement read in court, John Tees, the driver of the vehicle that came off the road, said: “A man and a woman arrived, the man moved into the road to direct traffic. I sat and suddenly heard a bang and saw the lady was distraught, screaming I think. I concluded that he was struck by something. The gentleman who was struck was terribly unfortunate.”

Passer-by Martyn Bowden said: “I saw a set of hazard lights on, and some extremely poor high visibility jackets. I thought to myself, ‘This guy is going to get himself killed’.”

Lucian Delaloi, the driver of the Mitsubishi, said: “In a millisecond a gentleman had stepped onto the road in front of me.

“All I recollect is the impact - it has destroyed me, I am sorry.”

A report by PC Clifford in court confirmed that because Mr Manning’s high visibility jacket did not fully do up, only a small portion of reflective strip would be visible, which would not be sufficient for drivers to identify pedestrians.

Coroner Grahame Short said the actions of Mr Manning, from Jacqueline Road, Poole, actions as “misguided.”

“There was room for traffic in both directions to pass,” he said.

“Graham placed himself in a vulnerable position in a situation which would put him at high risk when he stepped into the road.”

He recorded a verdict of death from head injuries due to a road traffic collision.