A SWINDON man died from a suspected heart attack before his car struck a lamppost in Marlborough.

Leslie Sandell, 58, of Rose Street in Rodbourne, was driving a silver panel van out of Marlborough in the direction of Devizes on Monday when his vehicle careered across the carriageway, mounted the off-side kerb and hit a streetlight.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident, which caused long diversions.

Mr Sandell was declared dead at the scene and police believe he had died at the wheel before the collision took place.

The accident happened at about 11am on the A4 Bath Road, just a few yards on the town side of the Manton turning.

Passing motorists tried to resuscitate Mr Sandell before paramedics arrived, but were unsuccessful.

The road was closed for more than two-and-a-half hours, creating difficulties for motorists who had to find alternative routes into the town.

Yesterday, Mr Sandell's neighbours paid tribute to a friendly person who owned an antique Volkswagen Beetle and was a member of the local Beetle Club.

Valerie Hancock, who has lived in Rose Street all her life, said Mr Sandell and his wife Ruth were a happy and giggly couple who were very much in love with one another.

She said: "We became friends through our cats. They were cat lovers just like I am, and we went to Saint Augustine's Church together as well.

"They were such a cute couple, always holding hands and in such love despite their age, it was so nice to see them around always giggling together and smiling.

"This all happened so suddenly I feel so sorry about the situation.

"They have lived on the street for about 20 years.

"I used to see him every day riding his bike. He was such a friendly chap, deeply friendly.

"Ruth is a librarian and Leslie used to work as a delivery man for Renault.

"He was very quiet but so nice."

Police thanked motorists who stopped to help at the scene and appealed for any witnesses who have not already spoken to officers to contact the Central Roads Policing Unit, in Chippenham, on 0845 408 7000.