Grandfather killed in A361 crash 'was nicest gent on the planet'

Melvyn Cole's family have laid a tribute to Melvyn outside the Torr Works quarry -Credit:Family handout
Melvyn Cole's family have laid a tribute to Melvyn outside the Torr Works quarry -Credit:Family handout

The family of a beloved grandfather killed in a crash says he “touched the lives of everyone he met”. Melvyn Cole was driving home from work when his Vauxhall Astra was involved in a serious collision with a white BMW 1 Series on the A361 in East Cranmore before 6.40pm on Wednesday, April 17.

Melvyn, aged 62, died at the scene as workers from the nearby Torr Works responded to the collision. Avon and Somerset Police are continuing to investigate the fatal collision and have asked any witnesses to come forward.

Melvyn, who lived in Frome, was a popular figure at Gregory Distribution in Bridgwater, where he worked as a warehouse operative for several years. His daughter-in-law, Emma Powell, told Somerset Live how Melvyn was a popular figure and would often help others.

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She said: “There is nothing at all bad to say about him. He would work overtime to help everyone and he was always on standby just in case he was needed. He was honestly the nicest gent on the planet.”

Melvyn, who had one son called Kieren, would often travel to see his family in Basingstoke and treasured his time with them. Emma recalled how he adored all his grandchildren and enjoyed close bonds with them.

His family praised Torr Works for their immediate response to the collision and thanked them in person on Thursday (May 9). Many first-aid-trained employees rushed out to the collision scene to assist while Mark Perry comforted Melyvn by holding his hand.

Emma said: “We are grateful to Torr Works. There was a man who we met yesterday who held his hand while he waited for the emergency services to arrive. Although he (Melvyn) was already deceased he held his hand. We have thanked the company and wanted to say thank you to Mark. It was a relief to know he was not alone and surrounded by so many people when it happened.”

Emma has created a fundraiser to raise money in Melvyn’s memory but to also help pay for his funeral costs. The family has been thankful for peoples’ kind messages and support since his death.

A family tribute on the fundraiser reads: “The whole family are riddled with grief as he leaves behind his son Kieren and his five grandchildren. Melvyn touched the lives of everyone he met and loved his son and grandchildren with every bone in his body.

“We are asking for a little bit of help to honour Melvyn in the way in which he deserves to be honoured and help lighten the load off his grieving family. We thank everyone for their kind messages while we support each other through this devastating situation, thank you.”

Investigations into the fatal crash are ongoing, including reviewing CCTV footage and speaking to drivers in the area at the time. A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police previously said: “We believe there were a number of cars and a green John Deere tractor, which was towing a red silage trailer, travelling in the area at the time.

“We would ask the occupants of those vehicles to please contact us to let us know if they witnessed anything that could help our enquiries. We’d ask them, plus anyone else who witnessed the collision or has relevant dashcam, to please contact us online or on 101 quoting reference number 5224098411.”