AN elderly dog walker was killed in a freak accident when a wheel flew off a livestock trailer being towed along a main dual carriageway.

Peter Smith was walking his German Shepherd dog along a pavement next to the A38 Devon Expressway when the wheel flew six feet into the air and struck him in the chest and face.

A lady walking her two dogs was nearby and Peter, 79, let her pass because their dogs did not get on.

She suddenly saw the wheel from the livestock trailer being towed by an Ashburton man fly ’six feet in the air and struck Peter in the chest’.

He was left bloodied and unconscious but breathing. He died from chest wounds at the scene.

MPC Charlie Mann said: ‘No proceedings are being taken against the driver.’

She said the trailer had not been subject to routine maintenance and the last one was in 2016.

She said there were no mechanical failures to the brakes which could have caused or contributed to this incident.

But the Plymouth inquest heard the rear wheel bearing had failed or was failing and making a noise but the driver was not aware of it.

The fatal incident happened on the A38 near Heathfield, Devon, where retired widower Peter lived in Sharps Crescent, Heathfield.

The senior Plymouth and south Devon coroner Ian Arrow recorded a narrative conclusion.

He said: ‘The deceased was walking his dog along the side of the A38 as was his usual habit when he was struck by a wheel which had become detached from a trailer travelling along the A38. He suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.’

He told Mr Smith’s family: ‘What a sad case this is, I was very saddened to hear of his death.’;

His family said he was a ’caring and devoted dead, grandad, friend and dog lover’.

They were told new legislation surrounding large trailers is being brought in soon and they told the coroner they wanted a change in the law ’so that this does not happen to anyone else’.