Tribute to Felixstowe cyclist Andrew Down, 69, who died following collision with lorry on A14 slip road in Trimley St Martin
The family of a 69-year-old cyclist who died following a collision with a lorry in Trimley St Martin last week have paid tribute to him as someone who 'spent his life bringing people together'.
Former police officer Andrew Down, from Felixstowe, was riding a bicycle at about 10.45am on Thursday when he was involved in a collision with an Iveco lorry on Kirton Road at the roundabout with the junction of the A14 eastbound off-slip.
Mr Down was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge by air ambulance with serious injuries, but he died on Sunday.
Police said, subject to confirmation at formal inquest proceedings, the cyclist and fatal crash victim has been identified at Mr Down.
His family have issued a tribute through Suffolk Police, in which they describe Mr Down, a former Chief Inspector with Essex Police, as a 'wonderful, loud, gregarious character' who continued to support people after he retired.
They said: "Andrew Down had a passion for life like no other, he was the fittest 69-year-old Grandad you are likely to have met, cycling through the villages and coastline surrounding Felixstowe.
"He served as a police officer with Essex Police for 30 years, beginning as a cadet at Hendon, spending 24 years as a detective and retiring as a Chief Inspector.
"This wonderful, loud, gregarious character continued to support people and work within his community after he retired."
Mr Down's family said he was 'heavily involved' with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and took young people from Suffolk and Norfolk on camping expeditions, where he shared his love for the outdoors.
"In his younger days he was an excellent long-distance runner participating in many marathons and running with a team from John o’ Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Children in Need. He was also an avid supporter of the England Rugby team," his family added.
"A keen mountaineer, Andrew spent the last decade climbing mountains across the world from New Zealand to Argentina and cycling across Europe.
"He ran a local rambling group, organised walking weekends and volunteered to mentor young people in Felixstowe coming out of the care system.
"He was an inspiration to all those that knew and loved him, his final act of generosity was the gift of life to others having registered as an organ donor.
"His loving partner and family couldn’t have been prouder to ensure these wishes were met. Andrew meant so much to many, he spent his life bringing people together and he will be greatly missed.
"The family wish to extend their gratitude to the emergency services, in particular the Air Ambulance and staff at NCCU Addenbrooke’s Hospital for their care and support.”
Police are continuing to appeal for any witnesses to the collision, including anyone who may have dashcam footage.
Anyone with information should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101 or emailing SCIU@suffolk.pnn.police.uk, and quoting reference CAD 98 of November 26.