Tributes to lorry driver who died after falling ill at the wheel

The scene of the crash

The scene of the crash

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A LORRY driver died after he was believed to have fallen ill at the wheel and his vehicle swerved off the road.

Police were called to the Pattinson Road roundabout at 11.10am yesterday where the DAF lorry had swerved off the road and on to a grassed area.

The driver – whom the Echo knows only as Geoff – was found unconscious after it is believed he fell ill.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The road was closed at Pattinson Road down to James Steel Park, while A195 Northumberland Way was closed off in both directions a the junction of Pattinson Road and Biddick Lane. The crash involved a truck branded Timberpak Ltd – a subsidiary of wood panel manufacturer Egger – based in nearby Pattinson Industrial Estate.

The driver, however worked for Haltwhistle-based sub-contractor J & VE Nichol and the vehicle belongs to them.

Tyre marks were evident where the lorry left the road while going left along Pattinson Road, towards the roundabout with Northumberland Way.

The remains of signage was lying on the grass and part of the lorry’s windscreen was shattered from the impact.

Collision investigators used blue markers to indicate where debris from the vehicle had been scattered across the scene.

Mark Hayton, director of Timberpak Ltd, paid tribute to the tragic driver and said: “We are extremely sorry to hear the sad news about Geoff.

“He worked for one of our haulage contractors and was a regular, friendly face at our Washington and Bellshill Depots.

“On behalf of everyone at Timberpak, I’d like to extend our deepest condolences to Geoff’s family, friends and colleagues.”