Tributes to charity cyclist killed in A38 horror crash
A cyclist killed on a Somerset road was nearing the final leg of a charity bike ride of more than 900 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End, it emerged yesterday.
Married father-of-two and company director Graham Lees, 48, from Warwick, died after being struck by two cars on the A38 at Walford Cross near Taunton on Thursday.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary confirmed Mr Lees, the managing director of Banbury-based Cotswold Lifts, was raising money for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance at the time of his death.
Tributes and donations have poured in for Mr Lees and his charity mission since the accident.
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Friend Bill Wilson paid tribute to Mr Lees on his charity website saying: "It was a pleasure to have known Graham and cycled alongside him in the past.
"I will remember him as a man of honour with a spirit of fun."
Keen cyclist Robert Kittler said Mr Lees' commitment and enthusiasm had been an inspiration to many.
"He was the inspiration for me and my friends to get on our bikes, cycle and raise money.
"Thank you Graham, we will remember you," he said.
In a statement released by police on behalf of Cotswold Lifts, a spokesman for the firm said Mr Lees would be sorely missed by his family, friends and colleagues, not least for his irreverent sense of humour.
"His interests were many – including flying, motorbiking and raising money for charity," the spokesman said.
In 2006, Graham did the trip from Land's End to John O'Groats, solo, for Breast Cancer Care.
"The total raised was close to £10,000.
"It was a worthwhile and life changing experience for him, as well as a lot of help for an organisation that was very supportive to someone very close to his heart – his wife Celeste. He leaves a widow and two teenage children."
Mr Lees' page on the justgiving.com website showed he had raised almost £5,000 for the air ambulance service after again setting a target of £10,000.
Among several donations made on the site after Mr Lees' death was one from a friend who described him as "a truly great man, modest and determined" and another thanking the lift engineer for inspiring others to raise money.
The accident happened at 5.45pm on Thursday on the A38 between Walford Cross and Monkton Elm.
It is believed Mr Lees was involved in a collision with two vehicles.
The road was closed in both directions for several hours to allow the Collision Investigations Unit to assess the scene.
Police are appealing for witnesses and information. Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or the Collisions Investigations Unit on 0845 456 7000.