THE family of a van driver killed in a collision with an oil tanker near Kidderminster have paid tribute to "a lovely man".

He has been named by police as 71-year-old Robert Coulson, from Quarry Bank, in Brierley Hill, known to his family as Bob. He worked in Kidderminster as a part time delivery driver for J S Optical Ltd, based on the Hoo Farm Industrial Estate.

The collision happened on the A449 Worcester Road near the Mare and Colt pub at about 11.45am on Tuesday and involved a white Citroen Nemo panel van driven by Mr Coulson, travelling towards Kidderminster and a grey DAF tanker heading the opposite way - the lorry driver, from Gosport, Hampshire, was uninjured.

The van was wedged under the front section of the tanker as a result of the collision. Mr Coulson had to be freed by the fire service and was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham but died shortly after arrival.

Mr Coulson lived with his wife Sheila Coulson, who he married in 1980 - today would have been their wedding anniversary. He also leaves behind a step-daughter, Lindy Parkes, her five children who regarded him as their grandfather and one great grandchild.

He 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 when he was younger but when he was older he turned to golf and 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 on a date yet to be set.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the collision who has not already spoken to officers investigating should contact PC Lee Baker in the operational policing unit at Rubery Police Station on 101, quoting incident 221-S-250214.