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Former bus driver killed in crash

PUBLISHED: 20:19 27 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 March 2010

HE HAD just started a new job and was looking forward to spending more time with his wife.

But that chance was snatched away from former Ipswich man David Leather when he was killed after the school bus he was driving collided with an articulated lorry.

HE HAD just started a new job and was looking forward to spending more time with his wife.

But that chance was snatched away from former Ipswich man David Leather when he was killed after the school bus he was driving collided with an articulated lorry.

He had recently left a full time post as a driver for Ipswich buses and today, managing director of the company Malcolm Robson told of their sadness at the news.

Mr Robson said: "David had worked for us for five years and left earlier this year. It is very sad."

Mr Leather, 60 had been on his way to pick up school children when the fatal crash happened at around 8am on Wednesday on the A120 between Great Bromley and Horsley Cross in Essex.

Police have arrested the lorry driver, a 32-year-old man from Ipswich, on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He is on police bail until mid-November.

His widow, Phyllis, who he had been married to for seven years paid tribute to her loving husband.

She said: "He was a very kind and thoughtful man to everybody. He'd always do anything he could for anybody. Although we've only been married for seven years, it's been seven nice years.

"I'm very lucky to have met him. You don't meet people everyday you can spend your life with. I'm not likely to meet anyone else."

Mr Leather started working part-time for Wards of Alresford, near Colchester, four weeks ago.

"He'd just turned 60 and was pleased not to be doing shift work and long hours and to have more time at home. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be," said Mrs Leather.

"It's just one of those things you hear about happening everyday, but don't expect to happen," she added.

Mrs Leather said her husband enjoyed gardening, swimming and going on holiday. "We had some nice holidays. We were hoping to do a few more."

He was step-father to Mrs Leather's two sons and daughter.

Just before the crash Mr Leather was on his way to the 114-pupil primary school, St Joseph's Catholic School, Dovercourt.

Yesterday a spokesman for Essex County Council said: "The accident happened before the children were due to get on board the Wards of Alresford minibus and it tragically led to the death of the driver.

"It was due to transport 13 pupils to the school and it was soon known the road was blocked because of an accident. So parents made their own arrangements to get their children to the school.

"It was not known at that stage that the minibus was involved. The children were told later that day about the death of the driver and prayers were said on his behalf. The children were very sad.

"This was a new school bus contract and other drivers have shared the responsibility to bring the children to St Joseph's so Mr Leather was not incredibly well-known to the children. Nevertheless, they want to send some family flowers and wish them every sympathy."

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