Killed driver was dad-to-be

A LORRY driver killed in an horrific pile-up on the A14 in Suffolk was about to become a father, his devastated wife has said.Andrew Courtney died when the HGV he was driving collided with another lorry along the westbound carriageway of the A14, at Newmarket, on Saturday morning.

A LORRY driver killed in an horrific pile-up on the A14 in Suffolk was about to become a father, his devastated wife has said.

Andrew Courtney died when the HGV he was driving collided with another lorry along the westbound carriageway of the A14, at Newmarket, on Saturday morning.

The crash happened just moments after a third lorry had jack-knifed on the opposite side of the road, causing delays of up to eight hours for motorists who were diverted around both incidents.

Mr Courtney's devastated wife, Pauline, said last night: “Andrew was a loving husband, who was hard working and who loved his job as a driver.

“He was looking forward to becoming a dad in December, and he will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.”

The 36-year-old, from Harwich, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which happened just before 7am.

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The two separate incidents, which both happened near to the junction with the A142, caused problems for hundreds of drivers trying to make their way to a race meeting at Newmarket's July Course, and to Ipswich Town fans travelling to an away game at Leicester.

Inspector Graham Burch, of Suffolk police, said officers had been called to the eastbound carriagway of the A14 at around 6.50am to a report that an HGV vehicle had jack-knifed across the road.

“Whilst officers were at the scene dealing with the incident, there was a collision between two lorries travelling in the opposite side of the carriageway,” he said.

Two fire and rescue crews from Newmarket, and two from Bury St Edmunds, worked to free the drivers of the lorries on the westbound carriagway, who had both become trapped inside their cabs as a result of the collision. Mr Courtney was pronounced dead at the scene. The second driver was released from his vehicle and taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury, but was sent home on Saturday afternoon.

The driver of the lorry involved in the incident on the eastbound carriageway escaped with minor injuries.

The double catastrophe comes just over two weeks after the same stretch of the A14 was closed following an explosion near to two petrol stations.

Thousands of motorists became caught in miles of tailbacks after a van containing potentially lethal gas cylinders caught fire, causing both sides of the A14 to become sealed off on what was one of the hottest days of the year.

Suffolk police are now appealing for witnesses to Saturday's fatal road incident. Anyone with information should contact Bury Road Policing Unit, on 01473 613500.

Have you been caught up the A14 chaos? Can anything be done to ease the traffic after accidents? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

For the latest breaking news and travel: www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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