A sad and fatal accident occurred on Monday evening last to a man named Hayes. from Maidstone, at Ansty, a little village situated about a mile form Cuckfield. It appears that the deceased had been drinking very freely at the Green Cross, Ansty, during the day, another man being also in his company. It is supposed that the two had been working together harvesting.
A dispute arose between them, owing to the deceased laying down half crown in payment for some beer. His companion took up the money and afterwards denied all knowledge of having seen it, and stated that be had no coin in his possession. When the circumstance occurred it was about nine o'clock, and high words subsequently ensued,.
About 10 o'clock Mr Young, the landlord, pointed out to the deceased the way to Cuckfield, and the deceased proceeded in that direction. The unfortunate man had not got more than 80 yards before he was run over by a large furniture van, which came from Brighton, the driver stating that the deceased was lying on the ground at the time. The driver ran at once to the gatekeeper for assistance, and Mr Hyde went to the spot and ultimately started off to Cuckfield for a doctor.
The unfortunate man was taken into the stables adjoining the inn, but expired before the medical man arrived, being in partially intoxicated state at the time of his death. A woman, supposed to be his wife, with little girl about five years of age, was in the deceased’s company. She seemed sadly put out about the affair. The melancholy catastrophe cast a gloom over the whole neighbourhood. the body lies at the inn to await the Coroner's inquest.
The Sussex Advertiser 6 August 1870.
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.