Harlow lorry driver heroically steered vehicle off of busy M25 as he had a heart-attack

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A lorry driver who tragically died behind the wheel is being celebrated for thinking of others in his final moments. Grandfather Jim McCloud, 59, who lived in Long Ley, Harlow[2], was found dead on Thursday, February 2 on the hard shoulder of the M25 near Heathrow Airport. Shortly before he suffered a fatal heart attack, Mr McCloud managed to steer the 18-tonne vehicle off the busy motorway and put his hazard lights on, actions which could have saved a serious accident.

His widow Margaret McCloud, 60, said: “It was a normal Thursday. He would get up every morning, give me a kiss and tell me he loved me. I always told him I loved him more.

“He had breakfast, went to Stansted Airport[3] and loaded his lorry.” After this, Mr McCloud had driven to Heathrow and was on his way back when he had a heart attack.

His wife continued: “He must have not felt well as he pulled over to the hard shoulder, put on his hazards and what happened after I do not think I will ever know. “At 4pm one of his bosses put out an alert. They sent someone from HR and they found him in his lorry.

They called an ambulance and did CPR but he was confirmed dead at Slough hospital.” Mr McCloud was born in Glasgow and moved to Harlow at the age of ten. He met his wife through his twin brother Ian, the pair married in 1976 and lived in Harlow ever since.

With his wife, who works as a supervisor for Faber Music, the pair had two children James, 40 and Michelle, 39, and six grandchildren. For 20 years the family lived in Rivermill, Harlow and had lived in Long Ley for a decade.

As well as his twin brother he had another brother and two sisters. His brother James, who lives in Belfast, said: “The last action he did was to think of others. He did a good thing in the last moments of his life.”

READ MORE: Harlow school Little Parndon improves to best ever Ofsted rating of ‘good’[4]
Mrs McCloud added: “All of his friends are saying he is a hero. His last act was thinking of others.

An 18-tonne truck could have caused a hell of a lot of damage. “He loved his job, he was quite happy. He never used his mobile and he was always aware of everything around him.

“He was a happy chappie, he was always winding people up and he laughed at his own jokes.” Mr McCloud, a fan of Celtic Football Club, had previously worked as a taxi driver and was well known among cabbies but his wife said he was family focused.

“He loved his family,” she said. “He always picked me up from work but on that day he was not there, so I phoned up FedEx and they said he had been taken to hospital. READ MORE: A12 Witham lorry crash: Inquest opens into death of driver Gurdip Johal[5]

“I was told over the phone he had passed away. Everybody is so shocked. I am just trying to pull everyone together.

“All of his friends have written on his Facebook page, they say they will miss his face and that he was always the first one there in the morning.

“It did not take much to make him happy, it was just his grandchildren.”

Mr McCloud’s funeral will be held at 4.45pm on Wednesday, February 22 at Parndon Wood Crematorium, Harlow.


  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.harlowstar.co.uk)
  2. ^ Harlow (www.harlowstar.co.uk)
  3. ^ Stansted Airport (www.essexlive.news)
  4. ^ Harlow school Little Parndon improves to best ever Ofsted rating of ‘good’ (www.harlowstar.co.uk)
  5. ^ A12 Witham lorry crash: Inquest opens into death of driver Gurdip Johal (www.essexlive.news)

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