Police appeal over incident which left man in a coma

Craig Howson.
Craig Howson.
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A “much-loved” 33-year-old man left critically injured in a mysterious incident on a Barnsley road may be able to tell detectives what happened to him after finally regaining consciousness.

Craig Howson suffered life-threatening head injuries and was left in a coma following the incident on Rotherham Road in Cundy Cross on April 8.

Police investigating have not been able to determine whether Mr Howson was hit by a car or attacked by a person between 10.30pm and 11pm last Tuesday.

But detectives hope they may be able to ask him for his account after he recovered and regained consciousness in the last few days, though he is only able to communicate through blinking.

Detective Inspector Jade Brice of South Yorkshire Police, said: “In the last week to two weeks he has gradually improved. For the first two weeks we had to prepare ourselves for the worst.

“He is breathing by himself and able to communicate and the police will be communicating with him through the medical team imminently. We have not found any explanation at this time for how he has come about his injuries. He has got facial injuries and a brain injury consistent with him hitting the ground.”

Mr Howson was on his way home from his sister’s house, a short walk away, when he came to suffer very serious injuries in Rotherham Road. When he arrived home his face was bleeding and his condition deteriorated without his parents establishing what had happened to him.

Police officers dealing with a collision on the same street, involving an orange van which struck two bollards before the driver fled, were alerted to the unemployed man’s condition and an ambulance was called.

Officers have made two arrests over the road traffic collision, questioning a man and woman on suspicion of assault and driving offences, but police say they are keeping an ‘open mind’ over what happened.

Mr Brice said the victim would be undergoing a “long-term recovery”. He said: “He needs physio, he has been in a static position for some time. We are hopeful but realistic about whether or not, when it comes to that stage, he will be able to remember what happened that night. There is a possibility that he won’t.

“His family are obviously pleased that he is recovering but eager to know exactly what happened.” Anyone with information should contact police on 101.