Family's thanks to Good Samaritan

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

THE family of a man who died following a car crash in Grundisburgh today said they want to express their gratitude to the Good Samaritan who took him home.

THE family of a man who died following a car crash in Grundisburgh today said they want to express their gratitude to the Good Samaritan who took him home.

Michael Watson, 68 died after his car crashed into a pole on Stoney Road, Grundisburgh.

Today his son in law, Richard Olding from London Road, Copdock said Mr Watson's wife, Pat wanted to thank the person who gave her husband a lift.

Mr Olding, who is married to Mr Watson's eldest daughter, Sue said: "It was a very dark night and although he was not far from home he would not have been able to walk all that way.

"Thanks to this person Mike was able to return to the warmth and comfort of his own home that evening, a significant event which means a lot to the family in the circumstances."

Mr Watson fell into unconsciousness while sitting in his armchair. Although his wife called the ambulance he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at Ipswich hospital from internal injuries.

His family is devastated by the loss of Mr Watson who has been described as an efficient but quiet and unassuming man.

As well as Pat, he has left five daughters, Sue, Gill, Kate, Pauline and Caroline. Sadly Caroline, the youngest of the five at 25 years old is living in America and is unable to get home.

The grandfather of eight was a well-known figure within Suffolk emergency services as he had developed and run the county branch of Raynet for the last 28 years.

Raynet is a little known voluntary charity that works in conjunction with the emergency services and the Suffolk Emergency Planning Group.

Mr Olding said: "He could get things done. People were amazed how he could get pieces of equipment (for Raynet) that no-one else could get.

"He even managed to get the RAF to land a helicopter in his back garden to pick him up rather than meeting them somewhere."

Also during the storms of 1987, Mr Watson had his blue fir tree dug up from his garden and donated it to Suffolk County Council who planted it in Christchurch Park.

Before he and his wife moved to Grundisburgh they lived in Henley and he was involved with the village for many years, also serving as a school governor there.

The couple had only recently moved to Grundisburgh and Mr Watson had overseen the building of their new bungalow.

Over the years he had tried his hand at many jobs - originally in the Royal Mechanical Engineers, he was seconded to Kenya Police for a time. He has also worked as an area manager for a double glazing company.

A spokesman for Suffolk Raynet Group said that Mr Watson would be sadly missed.

He said: "To say that Mike will be sorely missed may be a cliché but never the less very true.

"Retirement meant that Mike was able to give total commitment to Raynet - such was his enthusiasm that he was able to persuade many others to, for example, spend a cold, damp night watching water levels in case of potential flooding, take part in disaster exercises and support other voluntary organisations in a communications role.

"He was always willing to give help and advice to any radio amateur who sought it - he gained the respect of all those who worked with him."

Pc Phil Barrett from Suffolk police traffic unit said: "Raynet used to hold meetings at Ipswich police station and there will be a number of police officers who perhaps don't know him personally but will know him just through being at the station.

"While we are investigating Mr Watson's accident we would appeal for the gentleman that helped him to come forward, especially for his family to express their gratitude."

Anyone with information should call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

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