Tributes to popular businessman

By Patrick LowmanTRIBUTES have poured in for a popular and successful businessman who was killed in a horrific road accident.Dan Thompson, from Sudbury, died after the Seat Leon he was driving was involved in a collision with a lorry on Monday night.

By Patrick Lowman

TRIBUTES have poured in for a popular and successful businessman who was killed in a horrific road accident.

Dan Thompson, from Sudbury, died after the Seat Leon he was driving was involved in a collision with a lorry on Monday night.

Devastated friends and colleagues said Mr Thompson had just been starting to reap the benefits of his several business ventures and added it was a “tragedy” that he had been killed when he had so much to live for.


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Mr Thompson, 30, ran the Choices movie shop in Sudbury for several years, also owned the Reggianno's sandwich bar in the town's Gainsborough Street and was a partner in the 51/52 bar, which only opened last week in the same street.

Karl Edmeads, a close friend and business partner at the new bar, said: “Dan was the hardest-working, nicest person I have ever met.

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“He always put other people first and would do anything for anybody. He was an honest, caring person and I can't describe how much I will miss him, he was like a brother.

“He was very much an entrepreneur, a perfectionist with an eye for detail. This bar was his creation and I am determined to make it a success in his memory.

“Dan was very special, he knew all his customers by their first names and always made time for them. Although he has gone he will never be forgotten in Sudbury.”

Tony Villalgordo, manager at the Reggianno's sandwich bar, added: “Dan was a fantastic boss, a lovely person respected by everyone. We are all deeply shocked and saddened by his death and it will take us a long time to get over this.”

Mr Thompson's father, David, has also been a prominent businessman in the Sudbury area for several years.

His family were too devastated to comment yesterday, but Alex Lucas, director of the Colchester-based Thompson's Fine Foods, owned by David Thompson, said: “Everybody is just absolutely devastated by the news. Dan was a hard-working and generous person who had so much to live for.

“He was very, very popular and had so many friends. One of the most tragic things is his businesses ventures, which he had worked so hard for, were just starting to pay dividends.”

Sudbury town clerk Sue Brotherwood also sent her condolences to Mr Thompson's family.

“I have known the family for several years through their business links with the town. I first knew David and then Dan in later years,” she said.

“He was a prominent local businessman who was always cheerful and I am sure he will be sorely missed. Both myself and the town council send our condolences to his family.”

Suffolk police have appealed for witnesses to the accident, which happened on the A134 at the junction of Valley Road, just outside Sudbury, at about 11pm on Monday.

Mr Thompson's car was involved in a collision with a heavy goods vehicle, but no more details of the incident has been revealed by police.

The road was closed and diversions were set up for several hours following the collision. Police and firefighters were called to the accident, but paramedics declared Mr Thompson dead at the scene.

Another motorist, an 80-year-old man, was killed on the same stretch of road just a few weeks ago.

Brian Lewis, from Leavenheath, near Sudbury, died when his Mercedes left the road and went into a ditch on December 8, just yards away from the spot where Mr Thompson was killed.

Anyone with information about the accident in which Mr Thompson died should contact Sgt John Hawkes, of Suffolk police, on 01473 613500.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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