Trucker dies after heart attack at wheel

A FELIXSTOWE trucker drove in excruciating pain after suffering a heart attack at the wheel - trying to avoid a motorway smash which could have killed or injured others.

A FELIXSTOWE trucker drove in excruciating pain after suffering a heart attack at the wheel - trying to avoid a motorway smash which could have killed or injured others.

Raymond Dowsett even managed to summon the air ambulance as he drove, but tragically died before it could reach him.

He pulled safely in to a truckstop but then collapsed in his cab and was dead by the time emergency medical help arrived.

Today tributes were paid to Mr Dowsett, 51, by his family as they presented money to the East Anglian Air Ambulance in his memory.

His sister Carol Bennett said his actions in keeping going while in enormous pain reflected his character.

“He was a lovely man and would not have wanted to have caused a crash and to have hurt others,” she said.

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“It was a very busy stretch of motorway and he could have veered across the road and taken a lot of people out with him if he had let his truck go, but he hung on and continued driving, even though the doctors said he would have been in excruciating pain.

“Raymond had many friends in Felixstowe and was really loved - he had grown up here and knew so many people. He will be very missed by his family and friends.”

Mr Dowsett, who had lived in Felixstowe almost his whole life, was on the M6 when he had the heart attack. He drove for six miles to reach a service area.

At a memorial service at St Mary's Church, Walton, mourners were asked to contribute to money for the air ambulance - raising £264.

“We just wanted to help the air ambulance because they do such a marvellous job. Unfortunately, they were not able to help Raymond but they help so many people and it is vital they are able to carry on doing that because you never know when you could need them,” said Mrs Bennett, of Ipswich.

Mr Dowsett moved to Felixstowe as a small child because his father was stationed in the RAF. His mother lives in Orford Road, and he is also survived by his brother Martin.

He went to Langer Primary and Deben High, and worked for many years repairing lorries before taking up driving.

Married twice, he leaves three children - Karl, Leon and Carly - and four grandchildren, Sinead, Stacie , Ben and Kai .

Pay your tributes to Raymond Dowsett - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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