A VAN driver who died in a collision with a tanker near Kidderminster has been named as great-grandfather Robert Coulson of Quarry Bank, near Brierley Hill.

The 71-year-old from Coppice Lane – known to his family as Bob – died in the crash on A449 near the Mare and Colt pub at about 11.45am on Tuesday, February 25.

The busy road was closed for more than five hours while collision investigators examined the scene.

The crash happened when the white Citoen Nemo panel van being driven towards Kidderminster by Mr Coulson was in collision with a grey DAF tanker travelling in the opposite direction.

The van was wedged under the front section of the tanker and Mr Coulson had to be cut free by firefighters. He was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham but died shortly after.

The tanker driver was unhurt.

Mr Coulson worked as a part-time delivery driver with J S Optical Ltd at the Hoo Farm industrial estate near where the crash happened.

He married his wife Sheila in 1980 and would have celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary today (Friday).

He also leaves a step-daughter, Lindy Parkes, her five children who regarded him as their grandfather, and one great-grandchild.

Mr Coulson was born in Kinver and attended Oldswinford Hospital School in Stourbridge.

He lived at the Clee Hills in Shropshire for a while, and also spent time living in South Africa, but lived in the Black Country for the majority of his life.

He was a keen footballer in his youth and turned to golf in his later years. He particularly enjoyed playing at the caravan the family used to own near Ludlow.

Mrs Parkes said: “Bob was lovely, everyone liked him. He was a fun man, someone you could have a real laugh with.”

His funeral will take place at Stourbridge Crematorium at a date to be confirmed

Witnesses to the collision who have not already spoken to officers are asked to contact PC Lee Baker on 101, quoting incident reference 221-S-250214.