A12 horror death - family pays tribute

EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a charity worker from Colchester killed in a freak accident on the A12.

James Hore

EMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a charity worker from Colchester killed in a freak accident on the A12.

Rene Vargas lost his fight for life three days after being hit in the head by a piece of flying debris that crashed through his car windscreen.

The 47-year-old father-of-two died on Tuesday evening at Queen's Hospital, Romford after suffering serious injuries in the accident near Marks Tey.


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At about noon on Saturday Mr Vargas and his wife, Katy, were travelling along the southbound track of the busy dual carriageway when the piece of metal sheeting was swept up into the air by another car.

His family issued a statement today, saying Mr Vargas was a “serene and gentle man” who touched everyone he met.

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They said: “He shunned the limelight and personal status, but was fiercely ambitious in his efforts to support the poorest people in improving their lives, constantly succeeding against the odds in finding new funding and new ways to expand his work.

“Everything he did came out of his desire to work for a more just world.”

His wife added: “Rene was the most tender father and husband and devoted every possible moment to me and his precious sons, who were the light of his life.

“There are no words to express how we will miss him forever, but we know his love and beautiful smile will always shine on in our hearts.”

Mr Vargas was the director of programmes for Colchester-based LEPRA Health in Action and was responsible for its overseas work.

He has two sons, Oliver 13 and Gabriel, 10, and was looking forward to becoming a father again next year.

Officers have been appealing for people who were on the London-bound A12 in the lead-up to the crash to come forward with any information that may help their investigation.

They have seized a truck as part of their ongoing investigation.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said the drivers of two distinctive vehicles had been urged to get in touch.

She said the drivers of a white minibus and a white mini, possibly a convertible, which both swerved to avoid the debris, could help the investigation.

The spokeswoman said: “These drivers are potential witnesses and can assist police to piece together the events that led to the crash.

“In addition, officers are keen to hear from anyone who was travelling along the A12 on the London-bound track at around 11.30am to 11.50am who may have information that could assist their inquiries.”

The spokeswoman said it was too early to confirm if the seized truck was definitely involved but said forensic tests were now taking place.

Anyone with information can contact officers at the Stanway Road Policing Unit on 01206 762512.

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