THE widow of a Silsden lorry driver who died in an horrific crash on the M6 last autumn has paid tribute to her "soul mate" following an inquest into his death.

Trevor Kitchingman, 42, died after the articulated lorry he was driving was in collision with a low-loader.

His vehicle was badly damaged and the trailer broke free from the tractor unit, before crushing the cab and causing the injuries which led to his instantaneous death.

An inquest took place last Tuesday at Kendal Magistrates' Court and a verdict of death by road traffic collision was recorded.

However, widow Kath Kitchingman said the hearing had done little to provide the family with any additional information about the circumstances of the fatal collision.

Instead, the hearing had confirmed details which the family had already been aware of, through the evidence given by witnesses.

"I have come away not knowing anything I didn't already know," she said.

"I wanted more answers, which I didn't get at the inquest. It is maybe now a case of trying to move forward.

"It has been like a living nightmare and still is. I have lost my soul mate."

Mr Kitchingman had been driving a livestock trailer at the time of the collision and a section of the M6, between junctions 41 and 42, was closed for more than 15 hours while emergency services worked on the aftermath of the crash and the initial investigation into what happened in October last year.

He worked for Longthornes of Hebden and was a professional and experienced heavy goods vehicle driver, as well as a qualified mechanic.

His driving career meant he had a wide network of friends and professional acquaintances, meaning the church was packed for his funeral in November.

"People came from all over the country," said Mrs Kitchingman. "He travelled the length and breadth of the country through his job and we had condolences from all four corners of the UK.

"About 90 per cent of the people at the funeral I did not know, though I knew them by name. He was described as a gentle giant, a happy personality who would help anyone with anything."

Mr Kitchingman treated Kath's children Kristeena, 22, and Karl, 20, as his own and they had also had a traumatic experience since his death, she added.