A DRIVER has died after suffering a suspected heart attack at the wheel and colliding with an oncoming car.
The unnamed man, believed to be in his 60s, was travelling in a Ford Ranger along Main Street, Billinge, at around noon yesterday when he lost control and careered into lane opposite before smashing into a Peugeot car.
Witnesses spotted the driver of the Ford Ranger slumped over the wheel moments before the crash.
Emergency crews were called and he was rushed to Wigan Infirmary. However doctors were unable to save him and he sadly died in hospital.
Motorists were caught in heavy tailbacks as police closed a long stretch of Main Street for almost three hours while the wreckage was cleared.
Brian Waite, 67, and 18-year-old Danny Unsworth, who were in the Peugeot car at the time of the accident, both escaped unhurt.
Mr Waite, from Kitt Green, was on his way to a gardening job at a house in Main Street with Mr Unsworth, his grandaughter’s boyfriend.
Mr Waite said: “I could see the car ahead was indicating left to pull over so he must have known that something was wrong. I put the brakes on but then suddenly the oncoming car came on to our side of the road and crashed into us.
“Both of us were shaken up but thankfully we’re not hurt. I couldn’t really see the other driver because he was slumped over. He was kept in the car until the paramedics arrived.”
Mr Unsworth added: “The other driver was almost lying down in the car when it hit us. We put the brakes on but there was no way of getting out of the way. He was struggling to breathe before the ambulance took him to hospital.”
Ken Jarvis, landlord at the Forester’s Arms pub, in Main Street, Billinge, said: “We heard the collision and came out to see what had happened. The paramedics were here in no time and the driver was taken to hospital in the back of an ambulance.”
A spokesman for Merseyside Police said they received a call shortly before noon after reports of a collision involving a Peugeot and Ford Ranger in Main Street.