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Sweffling: Village shock at double tragedy of brothers’ deaths

PUBLISHED: 08:15 14 August 2013

Tributes to brothers Michael and Liam Church

Tributes to brothers Michael and Liam Church

Archant

A Suffolk village is coming to terms with a double tragedy after a motorcycle crash claimed the lives of two brothers.

Liam Church died from the injuries he suffered in the collision that killed his older brother, Michael, earlier this month.

Liam, 19, was the pillion passenger on his 21-year-old brother’s motorcycle when it collided with a red Nissan Primera at the junction of Saxmundham Road and Low Road, in Cransford.

The crash happened yards from the entrance to their home village of Sweffling, near Framlingham, on the evening of August 2.

Dozens of floral tributes have been left to both brothers at the roadside by family, friends and fellow motorcyclists.

Sweffling parish rector, Reverend Jonathan Olanczuk, said the church would continue to offer support to those who knew the brothers. He added: “This is a very sad loss. They were both valued in the village and will be sorely missed.”

Church warden, professor John Tesh, said prayers had been said for the last two Sundays at St Mary’s in Sweffling and St Michael’s in neighbouring Rendham.

Mr Tesh added: “In the past, Liam had helped with cutting and tidying the churchyard.

“The whole village extends its sympathy and support to the boys’ family. It really is a tragic loss.

Emergency services were called at about 7.40pm to the scene of the crash. Fire crews, land and air ambulance and police units resonded, and a stretch of Saxmundham Road was closed between junctions for The Mowbrays and Sandy Lane throughout the evening.

The motorcycle the brothers were riding was found on fire in a field.

Michael was pronounced dead at the scene and Liam was airlifted in a serious condition to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, but died as a result of his injuries on Sunday.

The driver of the car is not thought to have been hurt.

A spokesman for Suffolk constabulary said yesterday: “Police can confirm that the pillion rider who was involved in a collision in the village of Cransford on Friday 2 August has now died.”

More flowers and messages have since appeared at the roadside in tribute to both young men. One simply thanked them for being “fantastic nephews and cousins”, going on to read: “You will be truly missed.”

A spokesman for Sweffling Parish Council said: “This must come as appalling news for the family, at what must have already been a horribly sensitive time. All of our thoughts are with them.

“They were both known by a lot of villagers. It’s incredibly sad news.”

It is understood that Michael and Liam attended Leiston High School and have two sisters.

Police continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact Pc Danny Ormes at the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

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