Widow thanks colleagues who stayed by her husband’s side

IPSWICH: A dependable colleague who left an indelible mark on an old friend’s memory.

Gary Deaves died last Sunday at Ipswich Hospital – six weeks after he sustained “severe head injuries” when a tyre exploded at Ipswich docks six weeks ago.

Since the news of Mr Deaves’ death came to light last week, tributes have flooded into The Evening Star.

And today his widow, Dawn Deaves, of Churchill Avenue, thanked her husband’s colleagues who stayed by his side after the horrific incident.

She said: “We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who was there with Gary when it happened. They stayed with him and looked after him until the ambulance arrived. We are so grateful they were with him.”

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Remembering an old friend, Andy Taylor, of Brinkley Lane, Colchester, has spoken of his “shock and disbelief” at hearing the sad news.

Mr Taylor started his engineering apprenticeship at Ransomes and Rapier Ltd with Mr Deaves in September 1978.

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He said the pair became firm friends as “just two of thirty devilish sixteen-year-olds to enter that fine old company”.

He added: “While undergoing our specialist fitting training, I came to know Gary as a good, dependable friend and colleague, one of the most naturally humorous men I’ve ever known and, in my opinion, the best engineer of them all.

“Many times over the years, I have regaled friends, who never knew him, with stories of Gary’s unique ability for visual humour.

“Those great memories have lived in me for over thirty years now, and still make me roar with laughter every time, and will do forever more.

“I’ve often said that the things some of us thirty young scallies got up to could fill a book.”

Mr Taylor said he last saw Mr Deaves around 20 years ago. He paid his “heartfelt sympathies” to Mrs Deaves and his two children, Chris, 20 and 15-year-old Jennifer.

“Knowing Gary all those years ago has certainly left an indelible mark in my memory and I am certain the world is now a hugely poorer place without him.”

Inquiries are today continuing into Mr Deaves’ death as investigators try to piece together the moments leading up to the tragedy.

Health and safety executives are working with the mechanical engineer’s employers, Associated British Ports (ABP), to establish what happened when a tyre exploded in a workshop at Cliff Quay on March 30. A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said investigations into fatal accidents can take “some time.”

n Pay your tributes to Mr Deaves. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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