Dad tried to save son at crash scene

A FATHER told last night how he stopped to help at a road crash scene only to find the victim was his fatally-injured youngest son.

Naomi Cassidy

A FATHER told last night how he stopped to help at a road crash scene only to find the victim was his fatally-injured youngest son.

Guy Marshall, from Orford, did not realise the accident he had come across involved his beloved 18-year-old son Thomas until he got out of his car.

But as he approached, the tragic realisation emerged, and the 53-year-old - medically trained as a lay responder to deal to such incidents - then faced the unimaginable task of trying to save him while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Last night, Mr Marshall, an optometrist with a practice in Leiston, said: “When I arrived people had stopped but no one was tending to him. I jumped out of my car to see if I could help and then realised it was my son.

“I supposed I instantly switched into lay responder mode but then was still aware it was my boy. He was moving slightly and had a pulse.

Most Read

“Not an hour goes by that I don't think of being on that road with him.”

Despite his best efforts, and those of the emergency services who arrived soon afterwards, Thomas sadly died at the scene of the accident, in Orford, on June 12.

On the day of the tragedy, Thomas had come home from Farlingaye High School after completing two A-level biology exams before heading off on his bike to meet his friends and go to Liquid nightclub in Ipswich. As he bounded out the door he said a cheerful goodbye to his mother, Wendy.

The 47-year-old, who is a practice nurse in Orford, said: “You still expect him to come through the door. It hasn't sunk in yet.”

The outgoing youngster was known for being incredibly cheerful, and has also been described as “kind, thoughtful and considerate”.

Mrs Marshall said: “He would get up in the morning, singing and whistling. He would also spend ages doing his hair. He would borrow his sister's straighteners and then put his [bike] helmet on and go off to school.”

Thomas, who had turned 18 just five days before the crash, was a very active teenager, and had diverse interests, including game shooting, canoeing, badminton and rugby. He worked part-time as a lifeguard at Leiston Swimming Pool, which tied in with his passion for swimming.

His other main love was his motorbike, which he bought just before Easter this year and was his “pride and joy”.

Hundreds packed into St Batholomew Church in Orford last week to bid a sad farewell to the popular teenager.

On the evening after the service, dozens of people gathered at their house, and set off rockets and fireworks. They also had a bonfire where they burnt his exercise books - a ritual Thomas had been planning to do after finishing his exams.

The tragedy has seen the community in Orford unite in their kindness and support for the Marshall family.

Every day since the incident, they have received hundreds of cards, flowers, messages of support, phone calls, and visits. People have made cakes, one recorded a song, and everyone has made it known that they are there for them.

More than 500 turned up for his funeral, and the village essentially “shut down for the day” according to the family.

Mr Marshall said: “The village has been marvellous. We would like to thank those who have offered their love and support, and everyone who has just been there for us.”