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February worst month for road deaths in Essex for nine years

PUBLISHED: 17:08 14 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:08 14 March 2016

The A133 near Weeley Heath was the scene of a fatal accident in February and on Monday.

The A133 near Weeley Heath was the scene of a fatal accident in February and on Monday.

Police have issued a plea to drivers to take extra care after last month saw the highest number of road deaths in the past nine years.

Ten people died in crashes across Essex during February – more than three times the figure from February 2015 – while a further 67 people were seriously injured compared to 39 in the same period last year.

Among the fatal collisions were incidents in Weeley, where Paul Stevens died, as well as in Cressing, Witham, and Galleywood.

The trend has also continued with further road deaths this month, including an incident at Howe Green on March 8 where two men from Colchester and Maldon died.

Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager at Essex Police, said: “February saw more collisions resulting in fatalities and serious injuries than any other month over the last nine years and my thoughts and those of my officers are with the families and friends of each of those drivers and passengers killed or seriously injured.

“My team leads a number of operations and enforcement activities every week of the year to detect and deter criminals using the county’s roads and increase safety on the road network.

“We will continue to do this but we need support from drivers across Essex to help make the roads a safer place.

“Speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt, driving carelessly, failing to respect other road users and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol all risk and ruin lives.

“Please take some personal responsibility. Ask yourself if you’re driving appropriately for the road and weather conditions, visibility and traffic volume, watch your speed and please don’t use hand held mobile phones behind the wheel.

“If you absolutely must answer a call, find a safe place to stop before doing so. While the use of hands-free is legal, we would also discourage the use of it as it diverts attention away from the road.

“My team and I are passionate about road safety and our motivation is simple – it’s about saving lives. Please help us to help you and your loved ones.”

In June 2006 there were 15 fatalities on the county’s roads, making it the single deadliest month in the past decade.

Firefighters worked overnight to quell the flames of a blaze involving 500 tonnes of straw on farmland between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

A man in his late 20s has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after he crashed his car in Ipswich.

A woman in her 30s was rushed to hospital after two men dressed in black hoodies threw a mystery liquid into her face during a “random” attack.

The family of Corrie McKeague will today be out on the streets of Bury St Edmunds talking to members of the public to mark the year anniversary of his disappearance.

A teenager who had to be freed from the wreckage of a car by firefighters following a crash in Essex today is fighting for his life in hospital.

As the deadline for Stars of Suffolk nominations approaches, organiser Mick Parker is looking ahead to the “emotional and wonderful” annual ceremony that brings together the county’s unsung heroes for one night of celebration.

An 18-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Essex has been found safe.

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