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Family pays tribute to loveable son

PUBLISHED: 11:17 07 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 March 2010

THE family of a teenager killed as he tried to cross the A14 has paid tribute to their "loveable son with the unforgettable smile".

Dean Potter, 17, was killed as he crossed the A14 while walking home to the village of Hessett from Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds.

THE family of a teenager killed as he tried to cross the A14 has paid tribute to their "loveable son with the unforgettable smile".

Dean Potter, 17, was killed as he crossed the A14 while walking home to the village of Hessett from Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds.

Last night his mother Vicky Hannington and stepfather Paul Hannington spoke of the agony of losing Dean and the consolation he would never be forgotten.

"It's your worst nightmare. You don't expect to outlive your children. When it happens, the ground disappears from under your feet," said Mr Hannington.

Mrs Hannington said she had found a poem that best described her grief. It read: "There's a pain beyond imagining, that's burning in my heart. For suddenly my whole world has been cruelly ripped apart."

Dean died after being involved in a collision with a car at about 9.40pm on January 31 and an inquest is due to be held later in the year.

The former Thurston Upper School pupil was born in Lowestoft and lived in Stevenage before moving to Hessett, where he lived with his mother and stepfather.

Dean had recently given up his job, working the late shift in the warehouse at local firm Jack Sealey Ltd, and had been focusing on his love of music and a possible career in the RAF.

"There's so many possibilities and avenues he might have gone down – that is the saddest thing, that's the tragedy," said Mr Hannington.

His wife added: "He was really into his music. Lots of people knew him for it. He used to be an MC at local clubs, including The Avenue in Bury. He also wanted to join the RAF and possible go into the military police."

The family said they had been inundated by cards and telephone calls from friends and family, showing how popular Dean was. Well-wishers also massed on Sunday at the bridge over the spot where he was killed to lay dozens of wreaths of flowers.

"It was amazing. So many people turned up to pay their respects, he was really well-loved," said Mrs Hannington.

"He was a loveable boy with a grin that everybody loved. He was a rock, he was strong for everyone. He would always know what to say and he will be deeply missed, but never forgotten."

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