POLICE are investigating whether a road accident caused the death of D-Day veteran and popular community stalwart Phil Carey.

An inquest is to be held into the death of the 92-year-old former councillor, Rotarian and Salvationist, who was the long-time organiser of the Daily Echo Toy Appeal.

Mr Carey died in Poole Hospital on July 15. His health had deteriorated following a hip replacement after a fall in Westover Road on Wednesday, July 2.

It has emerged that police were called to the scene that day following reports of an incident involving a pedestrian and a silver Vauxhall Corsa. It was not clear at the scene whether a collision had taken place.

Police are seeking witnesses to the incident, which took place at around 11.30am outside the Brasshouse.

Police said yesterday that they had made arrangements to interview the driver of the Corsa but had not yet done so.

A Dorset Police spokeswoman said: “An investigation is continuing into the circumstances surrounding the incident and whether it was a fatal road traffic collision. The driver has been spoken to but not arrested and there are no charges.”

Phil Carey, who lived in Southbourne, was a stalwart of local Rotary Clubs and Salvation Army corps and served as a county and Bournemouth borough councillor. He was a school and hospital governor and a trustee of the Butterfly Foundation domestic violence charity, as well as organising the Daily Echo Toy Appeal for 17 years.

Cllr Anne Rey, leader of the Indpendent group on Bournemouth council, said: “Phil was very independent. I used to see him a lot in Winton. He was always walking and bussing everywhere.

“It’s a tragic way to end his life after all those years of service.”

She said she was sorry his family would now be put through an inquest. “Hopefully they’ve got the strength to go through all that. It’s not a nice thing to have to go through,” she said.

In June, he told the Daily Echo about his D-Day service, which involved landing on Utah Beach with the Royal 2nd Tactical Air Force.

Sgt Mark Scammell is investigating the incident and witnesses should call 101, quoting incident 17:142.