American killed in road smash
AN AMERICAN has died after a road crash in dense fog - the second fatal accident on the same treacherous stretch of road in only two weeks.Despite desperate attempts by doctors and paramedics to save 27-year-old Andrew Waxler, who is married to a servicewoman at RAF Mildenhall, he died at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, a few hours after the accident near Mildenhall.
By James Mortlock
AN AMERICAN has died after a road crash in dense fog - the second fatal accident on the same treacherous stretch of road in only two weeks.
Despite desperate attempts by doctors and paramedics to save 27-year-old Andrew Waxler, who is married to a servicewoman at RAF Mildenhall, he died at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, a few hours after the accident near Mildenhall.
The single-vehicle crash, which happened just after 4am on the A1101 near Burnt Fen, prompted calls for improvements to the stretch of road - flanked in many places by deep drainage ditches - which has claimed dozens of lives over the past few decades.
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Earlier this month Gerald Nicholls, 32, a serviceman at RAF Mildenhall, died after a head-on smash left his car hanging over the edge of a ditch close to Sedge Fen.
While the driver killed yesterday did not end up in a ditch, Robert Newman, who represents the Burnt Fen area on Forest Heath District Council, said successive Governments had failed to improve safety on the road: “If you go to France, roads like this are fenced because of the ditches but there's nothing here.
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“There have been dozens of accidents here and I'm dreadfully sorry to hear of this latest one. I nearly died in an accident myself some years ago and remember well five people being killed when their car went into a drain and filled with water.”
A police spokesman said the latest fatal accident happened when the Mr Waxler's green Plymouth car left the road in thick fog. He suffered terrible head injuries when his car hit the farmland several feet below the high fen road and was taken to Addenbrooke's by ambulance.
He said a baby seat was in place in the victim's car and because of the darkness and fog officers decided to call in firemen from Brandon so the area could be searched using thermal imaging equipment.
The spokesman said no child was found to have been travelling with the driver but stressed the matter could not be left to chance: “It was incredibly dark and foggy so we had to take the possibility seriously.
“We had no way of knowing there wasn't a child in that seat when the crash happened.”
The spokesman was unable to say whether Mr Waxler and his wife had children.
A spokesman for RAF Mildenhall confirmed the Mr Waxler, of Beresford Road, Ely, was married to a servicewoman at the base. She said the sympathy of the “base family” went out to Mr Waxler's relatives.
She said the mood at the base following the second fatal crash involving an American citizen was “sombre”.
No-one else was involved in the accident but police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward. They want anyone who saw what happened to contact them on 01284 774100.