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Romantic dad dies delivering Valentine's Day gift to girlfriend after car flips over in motorway crash

By Reuters | February 16th 2015 at 14:24:08 GMT +0300

A romantic dad died while delivering a Valentines gift to his girlfriend after flipping his car over in a motorway crash.

Mark Jones died at the scene after his BMW flipped and slid 200 metres down a motorway on its roof.

His family say the accident could have been caused by a mechanical fault, or linked to his high blood pressure. Mark, 44, a dad-of-two, was on the M65 near Burnley, Lancashire, on his way to see his girlfriend Alison Sutcliffe, 40.

She said: "It was love at first sight and I don't think that I will ever have that again. "He was amazing with my 21-month-old son Reuben and we were planning on getting married and having another child.

"He was so thoughtful, spontaneous and caring and I can't believe what has happened."

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Mark's black BMW veered into the central reservation one mile past junction 10, near Burnley, on Friday night (13 Feb), overturning and coming to rest 200 metres down the motorway.

The westbound carriageway was closed for four hours while a 15-strong team of firefighters worked to free Mr Jones from the wreckage but he died at the scene.

His family have paid tribute, describing him as a 'great guy' with a 'heart of gold'. Mr Jones, from Barrowford, Lancashire, was travelling to see his girlfriend, Alison Sutcliffe, at her home in Hapton, Lancashire, after visiting his dad, Raymond, when tragedy struck.

His mum, Jackie Rogers, 64, said: "He was the loveliest person you were every going to meet and he idolised his children.

"He thought the world of his kids and his time with Alison was the happiest of his life.

"The last thing he said to me was 'I love you mum' which is fitting really."

A life-long Manchester United fan, Mr Jones married his then-girlfriend Melanie in 1991, having two children together, and moved out to Algorfa in Spain in 2005 to run a bar.

The family returned to Lancashire after seven years, setting up home in BuckshawVillage, near Chorley.

However, the couple split up in August last year and Mr Jones moved to Wilton Street, Barrowford, after staying with his brother, Christian Wakeford.

Mr Wakeford, 30, who represents the area on Lancashire County Council, said: "The whole family is in a state of shock and disbelief. "Being woken up by the police on Friday night was the worst experience of my life.

"Mark was a great brother and we were very close. It's tragic that he has been taken from us so early.

"I would like to thank everyone who has been leaving tributes for him online and who have contacted us.

"It's nice to know that there are people out there who are thinking of us at this horrible time.

"Mark was one of those people who knew exactly how to wind you up but he was a great guy.

"He always had a smile on his face and he had a heart of gold."

The incident happened on a section on the M65 which is run by the Highways Agency and is unlit.

However, the family stressed they did not believe the lack of lights had anything to do with Mr Jones's death.

Shortly before the accident, a report was made to police about Mr Jones's car being driven 'erratically'.

The family said it could have been caused by a mechanical fault on the car, which had been due at a garage today or that Mr Jones, who suffered from a weak heart and high blood pressure, had been taken ill at the wheel.

Valentines Romantic Accident
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