Tribute to 'devoted husband and dad'

A GRIEVING family has paid tribute to a "devoted husband and father" who was killed when he was checking his lorry's tyres.

A GRIEVING family has paid tribute to a "devoted husband and father" who was killed when he was checking his lorry's tyres.

HGV driver Marshall Bell was found dead in a lay-by off the A14 at Haughley at 12.25pm last Thursday.

The 51-year-old, of East Fen Common, Soham, parked his lorry in the layby and left the vehicle to check his tyres, as he had done on a regular basis for the past 30 years.

But one of the tyres exploded in front of him in the carriageway, which is where emergency services found him unconscious.

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The A14 was closed in both directions to allow an air ambulance to land but Mr Bell, a dedicated family man, could not be revived.

His wife, Tracey, found out about his death two hours after the explosion when a police officer called to break the news.

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She then broke the news to their 11-year-old daughter Daisy and his three step-children, Bradley Waters, 21, Matthew Waters, 18, and 15-year-old Holly Waters.

Mr Bell's family said he was the "best family man" they could have wished for.

Mrs Bell, 42, said: "Things are still sinking in and it is really hard to come to terms with.

"Marshall was a devoted husband, father and step-father and he will be sorely missed.

"We are all in total shock and cannot believe we have lost the best family man we could have ever wished for."

She said her husband had been a lorry driver since the age of 21 and the family had lived in the East Cambridgeshire area for decades.

Ian Ogier, co-director of Soham firm Geoff Hobbs Haulage, where Mr Bell worked, said Mr Bell was a genuine man who would be very much missed by staff.

"Marshall was a really wonderful bloke who will be very much missed by all who knew him," he said.

"He had worked for Geoff Hobbs Haulage for almost three years to the day and was one of our most valued drivers - genuine, hardworking, cheerful, and always ready to help and nothing was ever too much trouble. He was well regarded by many of our customers who valued his commitment to doing his job well and always giving them 100 per cent in his own inimitable style."

The inquest into Mr Bell's death was opened and adjourned last Friday at the coroner's office in Bury St Edmunds.

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