SHOCKED villagers have paid tribute to a man who died after a Land Rover flipped over and landed in a rhyne.

Michael Thornton was travelling in the vehicle with two other people when the accident happened off Pill Road, Rooksbridge, at 1.40am on Monday (November 13). He received treatment at the scene but died later from his injuries.

Mr Thornton, who was known in Rooksbridge as ‘Mickey’, is understood to be 30 years old and from East Brent.

Rooksbridge resident Pat Ireland, who heads the road safety charity Lights for Life, said: “It’s a dangerous road. It’s such terrible news. He was a nice man.”

Her husband, Gordon, died in 2008 after a car hit him as he walked alongside the A38 by Rooksbridge post office.

“I only have to hear the sound of an ambulance and I think about what could have happened. I just hate it,” she added.

Lights for Life chairman David Maund said: “That road is extremely dangerous. I know a woman got her car stuck in that rhyne in an accident a few months back. She managed to get out.

“It’s such a shame this person has lost their life. I heard he was a really nice person.”

Thelma Vowles, who lives in the village, said: “He was such a nice chap who was very polite. I was shocked to hear the news. It’s just dreadful.”

In a separate incident last Thursday (Nov 8) a motorist suffered spinal injuries in a two-vehicle crash on the A38 at Rooksbridge.

Witnesses should contact police on 101.