Tributes to man feared dead

HEARTFELT tributes were paid today to a lottery winner who has been missing since Friday and is thought to have been the victim of an horrendous A14 crash.

HEARTFELT tributes were paid today to a lottery winner who has been missing since Friday and is thought to have been the victim of an horrendous A14 crash.

Brian Mills has been missing since leaving for work, at Menzies Distribution, Ransomes Industrial Estate, Ipswich, on Friday morning.

Family and work colleagues have been told by police to brace themselves for the worst while investigations continue into the accident.

Mr Mills, of Diss, is thought to have been driving to work on the A14 when his car collided with a lorry and burst into flames near Ipswich.

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Today, colleagues of Mr Mills, who featured in The Evening Star in May 2004 when he was part of a group 13 people who won £118,156 on the lottery, described him as “well-liked and highly-respected”.

David Bowman, general manager, said: “He was a first-class employee and was well-liked and highly-respected by everybody who came across him.

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“We have more than 100 people work for us but he was very well-known and will be sorely missed by management, colleagues and friends at the branch.”

Mr Mills was a full-time warehouse packer and had worked at the company for 32 years.

Mr Bowman said: “We worried when he did not come into work that day but first thought he was probably stuck in traffic.

“When we didn't hear anything from him, our concerns grew and I contacted the police at around noon. They then came back to us with confirmation (that Brian may have died).

“He had worked various shifts over the years he spent with us. He started out packing newspapers on trains many years ago and worked on many shifts between then and his current role.

“We will be doing something, some kind of service perhaps, but want to talk to his family first.”

Friday's accident happened at 8.35am on the Copdock-bound carriageway of the A14, around 500 yards past the Agilent building near the slip road leading from Asda. It bought rush-hour traffic to a standstill.

Mr Mills had already died in his VW Polo beneath the HGV when firefighters, paramedics and police arrived. The HGV driver was treated at the scene for shock but did not require hospital treatment.

Two further vehicles were also damaged nearby. A white transit van ended up on its side with damage to the front and back of the vehicle and a pick-up truck with a trailer carrying a digger ploughed down a bank at the roadside, ending up in trees. An investigation was launched to see how the accidents were linked.

n Suffolk police announced yesterday that they have arrested two men on suspicion of careless driving in connection with the crash.

The first is a 40-year-old, from the Needham Market area, and was arrested on Sunday The second is a 36-year-old from Ipswich. Both have been released on police bail until September 24.

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