Bikers mourn two more road deaths

By Benedict O'ConnorTWO motorcyclists have been killed in separate accidents on the region's roads in the space of 24 hours, prompting calls for an urgent safety inquiry.

By Benedict O'Connor

TWO motorcyclists have been killed in separate accidents on the region's roads in the space of 24 hours, prompting calls for an urgent safety inquiry.

The first accident happened at about 9.30pm on Saturday when Gareth Pettitt, 25, from Bury St Edmunds, was involved in a collision with a Renault Laguna while riding his Honda motorbike.

Mr Pettitt, a keen biker and member of Bury St Edmunds Motorcycle Club, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident in West Street, Walsham le Willows.

The following day a minute's silence was held to mark Mr Pettitt's death at a motocross meeting in Wattisfield, a short distance from where the accident happened.

Charles Ralf, motocross commentator and member of Woodbridge Motorcycle Club, said: “It's very sad indeed - he was a nice chap and a very decent motocross rider, among the top 20 in the junior class in the region, and everyone was very shocked to hear of the tragedy.”

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Mr Pettitt's death prompted David Ruffley, the Bury St Edmunds MP, to appeal to Suffolk County Council for an urgent investigation into the need for safety measures in West Street.

“My condolences go to the family of my constituent who has been so tragically killed at the bends in West Street,” he said.

“Local residents have been expressing concern about the speed of traffic along this stretch of road over a long period of time. I urge Suffolk County Council to investigate the need for safety measures as a matter of urgency.”

A second man, whose identity has not yet been released, was killed on Sunday in a separate accident at the Barnham crossroads on the A134, between Bury St Edmunds and Thetford.

The accident happened at about 8.40pm, when the man's Harley Davidson was involved in a collision with a Citroen ZX Advantage.

The motorcyclist was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, where he later died.

Peter Brightley, of the Bury St Edmunds and District Motorcycle action group, a charitable organisation involved in a number of initiatives to help improve road safety for motorcyclists, said deaths would be felt throughout the biking community.

“Any death is one too many and such terrible news will hit hard at all bikers,” he added.

“There is a lot of camaraderie between bikers and incidents such as these are a reminder of your own mortality - but first and foremost our thoughts are with the families of all those involved.”

n Police and fire crews were involved in a huge clear-up operation yesterday after two large military tankers carrying aviation fuel collided on a narrow road at Rymer Point, near RAF Honington.

A police spokesman said no-one had been seriously injured in the accident, which happened at about 10am, but the road had been sealed off for several hours after one of the tankers had started leaking.

Fire crews cleared the fuel from the road, but the leak is not thought to have caused any environmental damage.

benedict.o'connor@eadt.co.uk

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