A RETIRED railway signalling engineer was killed when the driver of an automatic car lost control while parking, mounted the promenade and careered onto the beach at Swanage, a coroner has heard.

David Frederick Harris, who was 70, was jogging along the seafront when he was involved in a collision with a Vauxhall Zafira, which was being driven by a woman in her 60s.

He was pinned beneath the car, and members of the public worked together to lift the vehicle off him.

Police officers, firefighters, coastguard officials, paramedics and an air ambulance crew were called to the scene at around 8.40am on April 2.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, Mr Harris was pronounced dead at the scene.

His wife Rosemary was informed and is being supported by specially-trained officers.

On Wednesday afternoon, an inquest into his death was opened and adjourned.

Coroner's officer Ken McEwan said a motorist parking an automatic car had lost control of the vehicle and mounted the kerb before travelling across the promenade and onto the beach.

Mr Harris was struck by the car as it ploughed across the prom, it was heard.

"Members of the public lifted the car off of him," Mr McEwan said.

The body of Mr Harris, who lived in Ulwell Road, Swanage, was identified by a mortuary technician using a photograph provided by a Dorset Police family liaison officer, it was heard.

A doctor who carried out a post-mortem examination has provisionally recorded the cause of death as multiple injuries.

Senior coroner for Dorset Rachael Griffin said police enquiries continue and adjourned the hearing for a pre-inquest review on July 18.

Police have called for anyone with information about the collision to come forward.

Sergeant Joe Pardey of the traffic unit said: “I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the collision, or has any dashcam footage that can assist my investigation, to please come forward.

“I would also like to hear from anyone who saw the manner of driving of the vehicle prior to the collision."

As reported in the Daily Echo, Daniel Doncaster, who lives in Swanage, was one of the first of the scene.

He said: "I could see a woman trying to reverse her silver people mover into a parking space at the seafront.

"She had her door open so she could get a better view behind her, when all of sudden the car accelerated backwards and she was thrown out of the vehicle and the car flew up into the air and on to the beach.

“Then I heard a woman screaming 'there’s a man underneath', and I could see someone underneath the driver’s front wheel."