Tributes to death crash pensioner
AN ELDERLY man heard the crash that killed his younger brother just moments after he said goodbye to him after they had enjoyed Sunday lunch together.Dennis Chaplin, of St John's Road, Clacton, died in hospital on Sundaynight after he was in collision with a car crossing the road to his home, which was only yards away.
AN ELDERLY man heard the crash that killed his younger brother just moments after he said goodbye to him after they had enjoyed Sunday lunch together.
Dennis Chaplin, of St John's Road, Clacton, died in hospital on Sunday
night after he was in collision with a car crossing the road to his home, which was only yards away.
He had just spent the afternoon having Sunday lunch at his elder brother Tom Chaplin's house when the accident happened at around 3.35pm.
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His distraught niece, Marilyn Webb, said her uncle had just had the "most wonderful year" after finally moving to Clacton to escape the growing crime problem in Hackney, in London, where he was born and bred.
She said he had been "brilliant" to her father, Tom, who unwittingly heard Sunday evening's tragedy unfold.
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She said: "My father had just let Dennis out of the house and normally he'd watch him cross the busy road.
"But as it was raining, Dennis told him to go back inside so he didn't get wet. My dad then went and sat down.
"My parents then heard a bang and a crash outside and looked out of the window and my mum saw someone stretchered into an ambulance.
"They just didn't think it was Dennis, so they called him to ask if he'd seen the accident.
"But there was no answer," said Mrs Webb.
She said her parents then decided to walk round to his house, but no-one was there. They saw a policeman at the scene of the accident and Tom Chaplin said they were looking for his brother.
However, the officer told the couple he thought the man in the accident was Dennis.
Mr Chaplin was taken to Colchester General Hospital, but died after emergency surgery.
The lifelong bachelor and retired carpenter was one of six siblings, although one of his three sisters, Florence, died in January this year.
Mrs Webb said he had moved to Clacton just over a year ago after longing to escape growing crime in Hackney, east London.
She said: "He had the most wonderful year this year and was so happy and had really brightened up our lives too. He had just made new friends and was settled and he was also a great help to my father."
She added he was a keen Arsenal supporter and a good darts player who claimed to have beaten former world champion, Eric Bristow.
She said: "He was the good-looking one of the three brothers and one of life's greats. We are going to miss him very much."
Mr Chaplin was in collision with a black Peugeot 306 on Sunday. The 20-year-old driver, from Clacton, was treated for shock, but was otherwise unhurt. Any witnesses should call Stanway traffic police on 01206 762512.