July 24 2014 Latest news:
TRIBUTES have been paid to a “delightful” teenager who was killed in a tragic road accident in a Suffolk village.
Rhys Loram, 18, son of former world champion speedway star Mark Loram, was walking along Gosbeck Road, Crowfield, near Ipswich, when he was in a collision with a Nissan van on Wednesday.
Emergency services were called to the scene, near Evergreen Garage, at about 4.45pm after reports of the accident.
Mr Loram, of Crowfield, suffered head injuries and was taken to Ipswich Hospital, but the former Debenham High School pupil was pronounced dead on arrival.
Family friend Tony Davey, a former Ipswich Witches speedway star who runs Evergreen Garage, said: “I was only talking to him last week as he came here to get petrol, we were talking about his opportunities in speedway, he was a lovely little lad.
“I know the family well, all of them, I could not believe it, he was a friendly lad.
“During the 1970s Rhys’s grandfather, John Louis, was part of same Ipswich Witches team that I rode in. John was the captain of the team and I was the vice captain.”
Rhys worked for the garage and BMW motor dealership his father owns in Hemingstone, near Ipswich.
Mark Loram, who was world champion in 2000, raced for the Ipswich Witches in 1989 and between 2006 and 2009 as part of a distinguished career.
Rhys’s uncle is Chris Louis, a former England international and Ipswich Witches star who now promotes the team with John Louis, his father.
Mike Crawshaw, headteacher of Debenham High School, said: “Rhys was a delightful young man. He was intelligent, caring, sensitive, always well-mannered and a real credit to his parents.
“He was popular with staff and students; everyone liked Rhys. The school community is devastated by this shocking and tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers go to family and friends.”
Rhys had been a keen moto-cross rider and he dabbled in speedway during 2008 and 2009.
A statement on FIM Speedway Championships website read: “Everyone at BSI Speedway sends their condolences to Mark, his family and friends at this very sad time.”
When Rhys was just two years old, he had fallen through a pond’s metal grid cover and got his head and shoulders stuck under the water.
His mother Joanne saved him after hearing their German Shepherd dog barking furiously as he tried to free the boy with his paws.
Police are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the the crash to come forward. If you have any information please contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police Headquarters on 101.