Feb 5 2013 by Steve Graves, Liverpool Echo
THE partner of a lorry driver killed when his wagon overturned on a motorway sliproad said he “loved life and lived it to the full”.
Melanie Wilson revealed Thomas Bate, 35, had suffered a double tragedy in his life with the loss of both his children, but would be remembered by everyone who knew him for his smile.
Mr Bate, from Kirkby, died when his lorry crashed on a sliproad leading from the East Lancashire Road to the M57 on January 28.
Ms Wilson, 41, said the keen footballer was a popular and much-loved friend to many.
She added: “He was the life and soul of any event and would make everybody laugh with his witty charm and cheeky smile.”
Mr Bate’s son Shaun died in 2003 at the age of six after suffering a brain tumour.
Tragedy struck again six months ago when Mr Bate’s 17-year-old daughter Rebecca died after a battle with cancer.
Ms Wilson said: “The only comfort we get is that Thomas is now with his children.
“Their daddy is now home.”
Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of Mr Bate’s death.
No other vehicle was involved and officers have made a plea for witnesses of the 6am crash to come forward.
Part of the A580 and the eastbound sliproad of the M57 was closed following the crash while collision investigators examined the scene.
Speaking of how Mr Bate had an outgoing personality and enjoyed spending time on holiday, Ms Wilson said the family would never forget his impact on their lives.