THE taxi driver who died in a horrific collision on the A350 has been named as 48-year-old Swindon man Craig Preston.

Craig, who worked for Cross Street Cars, died at the scene after his Ford Mondeo collided with a lorry at Beanacre, near Melksham, on Monday.

His family have paid tributes to the man they describe as “a caring son and a good friend to many people”.

A spokesman for the family said: “Craig loved his football and was a very keen Leeds fan, as well as being fantastic at his job. His popularity was reflected by what his customers thought of him and he was well-liked by all.

“No doubt, that was also partly down to his great sense of humour.

“He leaves behind his wider family, including step-daughter Katrina; they will all miss him dearly, along with his dear mum Yvonne.”

The incident took place near the Beechfield House hotel just after 1.15pm.

His passenger, a 79-year-old woman from the Chippenham area, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol by air ambulance.

The road was closed in both directions as three Dorset and Wiltshire fire crews from Corsham and Chippenham and a heavy rescue unit from Trowbridge freed the two people trapped in the car.

Colleagues at Cross Street Cars also paid their respects.

John Gardner, a representative from the firm, said: “Craig was a brilliant driver. He had been with us for the past three or four years and he was very well liked by everyone.

“He was a good man, a great driver and our thoughts are with his family.”

It is understood that the taxi was travelling towards Chippenham when the fatal collision took place.

The white MAN truck belonged to Ash Logistics Ltd, a Watford-based furniture delivery firm.

The road was closed in both directions for several hours, leaving motorists to find alternative routes.