Father killed in A10 crash

PUBLISHED: 14:30 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:47 04 May 2010

HAPPIER TIMES. David Nichols pursued his love of the great outdoors during a holiday last summer in Ireland.

HAPPIER TIMES. David Nichols pursued his love of the great outdoors during a holiday last summer in Ireland.

DEVOTED father David Nichols died in a crash just days before he was planning to celebrate his youngest daughter s birthday. Mr Nichols, 59, was killed instantly and had to be cut free from his car by fire-fighters after the accident on the A10 on Thursda

DEVOTED father David Nichols died in a crash just days before he was planning to celebrate his youngest daughter's birthday.

Mr Nichols, 59, was killed instantly and had to be cut free from his car by fire-fighters after the accident on the A10 on Thursday morning.

He was planning to meet his 29-year-old daughter, Kate, on Sunday for lunch to mark her birthday and was looking forward to the birth of her first child in August.

The crash happened on the A10 at Little Thetford just minutes from Mr Nichols' home as he drove to Ely Railway Station at 11am. Area manager for the Youth Hostels Association, he was planning to catch a train to Leicester for a meeting.

But his red Alfa Romeo car collided with a blue Jaguar X-Type claiming his life and injuring the other driver, a 69-year-old man and his female passenger, both from Ely.

The crash closed the road from the Stretham roundabout for three hours and diversions were put in place as fire-fighters with specialist cutting equipment fought to free Mr Nichols, of The Wyches, Little Thetford.

His eldest daughter, Julia, 38, who travelled from her home in Sheffield to be with the family after the

crash, said: "He was always nagging us to be careful. He was a very careful, safe, positive driver.

"He was very well respected and we have had tribute letters from people who have said he never had a bad word to say about anybody. He was a great friend to everyone."

Mr Nichols trained as a teacher before beginning work with the Youth Hostels Association in the late 1970s.

In 1976 he became a warden of a centre in the Derbyshire peak district, building it up to become a major outdoor pursuits attraction.

The family moved to Little Thetford in 1987, when he became regional manager for the YHA and from there he moved up the ranks.

He was very involved in village life and took part in the Little

Thetford Conservation Project, helping to dig a pond and planted 700 trees in just one weekend.

Julia added: "There is still a lot of work to be done but it is a fitting tribute to him. He loved being outdoors."

Mr Nichols leaves two grandchildren, Andrew, 12, and Sarah, eight, and, although he and his wife, Jenny, were no longer together, they remained firm friends.

His funeral will take place on Monday at noon at the west chapel at Cambridge Crematorium.

The family has asked for donations to Cancer Research UK and the Friends of Michael Sobel House, a hospice in Middlesex which cared for Mr Nichols' parents, who suffered from cancer.

Any witnesses to the accident are asked to call Cambridgeshire police on 0845 456 4564.

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