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An investigation into the death of a man who was being driven in an ambulance by a police officer when it crashed on an icy road will be handled by the policeman's own force, it emerged today.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the inquiry into the accident on Standard Hill, Ninfield, East Sussex, would be carried out by Sussex Police internally rather than by the watchdog.
Daniel Martin, 31, had already received life-threatening injuries when his Mini collided with a flatbed highways lorry carrying road equipment on the A271 Boreham Street, near Eastbourne, just before 2.30pm on Friday.
Due to the severity of his injuries, both the ambulance crew members treated him in the back of the ambulance while a Sussex Police road policing officer got behind the wheel and set off for Eastbourne District General Hospital.
About 20 minutes later the ambulance left the country road and careered into a bush in poor weather.
The police helicopter and Kent Air Ambulance attended the second crash but Mr Martin, from Horam, was pronounced dead.
One of the ambulance crew was treated at hospital for minor injuries.
A police spokesman said it was an ``unusual occurrence'' for officers to drive ambulances but they sometimes did so during incidents when medical staff needed to concentrate full time on treating their patient.
A 36-year-old man from St Leonards-on-Sea, who was driving the highways vehicle operated by a contractor on behalf of East Sussex County Council, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.
He has been freed on police bail until February 17, pending further inquiries.
Any witnesses to either crash are asked to call Sussex Police on 0845 6070 999, quoting Operation Dunloy.
The results of a Post Mortem on Mr Martin are being held back.
The coroner is waiting for another pathology report and toxicology test