TRIBUTES have been paid to an 86-year-old retired barrister and great-grandfather who died after a car crash.

Geoffrey Catliff, of Berrick Salome, near Wallingford, was described as a pillar of the community after the fatal collision on Saturday.

His Vauxhall Corsa collided with a lorry on the B4009 between Braze Lane and Cottesmore Lane, near Benson.

Emergency services were called at about 9.20am and Mr Catliff was taken by the air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, where he was pronounced dead.

The former barrister and businessman fought in the Second World War and had four children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The vice-chairman of Berrick and Roke Parish Council, Ian Glyn, said: “He was a very, very highly-regarded member of the community and a personal friend of mine, so this news is a considerable tragedy.

“He was a very, very good friend.

“He was very well regarded for his spirit and the agility of his mind, which remained from when he used to work as a barrister.

“It’s very sad news and he will be sorely missed.”

Mr Catliff’s next-door neighbour Eileen Dorling said: “It’s very sad, a tragic death. He was a lovely neighbour, always very friendly and very keen on his garden.”

Ian Ross, 73, lives across the road and said Mr Catliff was a “really nice chap” who had moved to the village from Aston Rowant, near Thame.

He said: “One of the main reasons he said made him move here was because there used to be so many road accidents outside his house.

“But now we get these big lorries coming through here all the time.”

Kathy Dixon, 57, who lives close to the crash site, said: “When we first moved here there were quite a few minor accidents. My neighbour had her dog run over.”

The lorry driver was treated at the scene by paramedics for minor injuries.

The road was closed for more than five hours after the incident.

Anyone with information should call Pc Gary Froud, of the Abingdon traffic unit, on 101.