TRIBUTES have been paid to devoted family man Michael Brown who was killed in a crash on the A31 near Winterborne Zelston on Monday evening.

The 43-year-old, who lived in Sturminster Marshall, died at the scene after his car was involved in a collision with a car travelling in the opposite direction.

Following his death, friends and neighbours have described the father of one as “a lovely man” and a “true gentleman”.

Jo Lamb said everyone in the village had been left devastated by the news.

“He was lovely,” she said.

“He was very family orientated and a genuinely nice chap.”

Mel Pearson, who also lives in the village, said: “We can’t believe it.

“He used to work on the dust carts but he ran a driving school before.

“He was a really nice fellow.”

Locals gathered at Mr Brown’s local pub the Churchill Arms on Tuesday evening.

Speaking to the Daily Echo yesterday, Gary Weston said: “All his friends turned up last night just to show their respects. Everyone’s in complete shock.”

The 54-year-old added: “He was a real family man. It’s so sad when you hear about something like this. Everyone’s devastated.”

Meanwhile floral tributes and heartfelt messages have been left outside the family’s home.

One read: “RIP Mike. A tragedy. Our thoughts are with you both at this sad sad time! A true gentleman. All our love Niki, Ryan and Sam xx”

Another read: “Dear Mike, RIP. We’ll miss the chats about fashion and the banter. Thinking of you Claire and Josie. Lots of love James and Charlotte xx”

His wife and daughter, who were passengers in the car at the time of the crash, both sustained serious injuries and remain at Poole General Hospital. Police say their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Police arrest suspect

POLICE have arrested a 28-year-old man from Taunton on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Brown died at the scene after his Skoda was in collision with a blue Subaru that was overtaking an articulated HGV.

Yesterday police said the driver of the Subaru has been released on police bail until June pending further enquiries.

Meanwhile officers are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

A police spokesman said: “We believe that during the initial overtaking by the Subaru another vehicle may have been inconvenienced, a small green hatchback-style car. Police are very keen to speak to this driver as he may have valuable information.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.