Family pay tribute to ‘beautiful’ Jake Paxton killed in A14 Rougham crash

The area of the A14 eastbound at Rougham in Suffolk where a fatal collision took place on Boxing Day

The area of the A14 eastbound at Rougham in Suffolk where a fatal collision took place on Boxing Day 2017. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The family of a second 18-year-old who died after a crash in Rougham on Boxing Day have paid tribute to their “beautiful” Jake.

Jake Paxton, who died following a crash on the A14 in Rougham on Boxing Day

Jake Paxton, who died following a crash on the A14 in Rougham on Boxing Day - Credit: Archant

William Smedley and Jake Paxton, both 18 and from Bury St Edmunds, were in a grey Ford Fiesta when it was involved in a crash with a black Vauxhall Corsa at around 9.30pm on Boxing Day on the A14, just east of junction 45.

Police confirmed that William had died at the scene.

Jake was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridgeshire with life-threatening injuries, and subsequently died in hospital as a result of his injuries on December 27.

Paying tribute to Jake, his family said: “We as a family are devastated that Jake has been tragically taken from us.

Floral tributes to William Smedley who died in a collision on the A14 near Rougham. Pictured: ARCHAN

Floral tributes to William Smedley who died in a collision on the A14 near Rougham. Pictured: ARCHANT

“Jake was beautiful inside and out. He was loved so very, very much by all his family and those close to him.”


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William’s family described their loved one as a kind, loyal and generous young man.

In a statement, they added: “(William) was a caring son, loving grandson, doting big brother, a loyal, kind, generous beautiful young man, gone but never ever forgotten.”

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A third man was taken to hospital for treatment but his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

William Smedley, described by his family as a kind and caring young man. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULA

William Smedley, described by his family as a kind and caring young man. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

The female driver of the Vauxhall Corsa, a 19-year-old woman – was not injured in the accident.

A memorial was held at 9.30pm on Wednesday, December 27 in the Arc shopping centre car park where both victims used to meet and socialise.

Flowers were laid and balloons released into the air in tribute.

Ebony Wilderspin, who organised the memorial, which was attended by William’s mother, said: “Will and Jake were both loved by everyone and last night was amazing for everyone to come out to pay their respects to both the boys.

“Many people were upset, however I’m grateful for the turnout and the lovely amount of flowers and cards that have been put around and on the lamppost.

“I’d like to wish the family well and hope that the memorial last night was a good enough send off for the two boys who were taken away from us so early.”

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