Driver who died in collision near Lewes named


The driver of a Ford Transit van who died after it was in collision with a Volvo lorry on the A26 near its junction with Wellingham Lane, Ringmer, shortly after 9am on Thursday July 10 has been named.

He was Gary Cooper, aged 28, a tree surgeon, of Batts Bridge Road, Maresfield, near Uckfield.

Mr Cooper was the father of two sons - Henry, aged six, and Jimmy, aged one.

His partner of 10 years, Anneka Maher, 27, has since spoken of the family’s loss.

She said: “Gary was the most wonderful Dad and always put his family first.

“When he finished work he would always come straight back to be with us, and the children thought the world of him.

“Henry, in particular, idolised him and they loved spending time together with a horse Gary had recently bought called Coco.

“If it wasn’t that they’d be with Gary’s quad bike, his chickens or his dogs, all of which he was incredibly enthusiastic about.

“Jimmy would often just sit and watch them, enjoying being there even though he wasn’t old enough to join in.”

“I can’t stress enough what a good family man Gary was and how much he is already missed.”

Gary had two brothers, Tony and Mikey, and two sisters, Louise and Lauren. His parents were Pam and Henry, although the latter has always been known as Gary.

Anneka said: “ It was a bit of a family joke. They used to be known as Big Gary and Little Gary.”

She has asked police to pass her thanks to members of the emergency services and to other motorists at the scene for their efforts to help Gary before he died.

No details of arrangements for Mr Cooper’s funeral are being released.