Family pay tribute to crash victim

THE devastated family of a young woman who was killed in a horror crash in Colchester have paid tribute to her.Debbie Riches, 21, died when a sports car, which was being taken for a test drive by a 40-year-old woman, mounted the kerb and collided with her as she either pushed or rode her bike along the pavement.

By Juliette Maxam

THE devastated family of a young woman who was killed in a horror crash in Colchester have paid tribute to her.

Debbie Riches, 21, died when a sports car, which was being taken for a test drive by a 40-year-old woman, mounted the kerb and collided with her as she either pushed or rode her bike along the pavement.

The horrific accident happened on Berechurch Road, Colchester, at 8.30pm on Thursday.


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The driver of the red Alfa Romeo Spyder sports car was seriously injured was last night in a "serious but stable" condition in hospital.

Miss Riches, of Monkwick Avenue, was born in Colchester and lived in the town all of her life, her family said.

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She went to Monkwick infant and junior schools, and then Thomas Lord Audley School.

Her family described her as "a fitness fanatic" and for the last few years she had worked at Colchester Leisure World as a lifeguard in the swimming pool. She had recently qualified as a gym instructor.

She leaves her mother, Veronica, and father, Dave. The middle child of five brothers and sisters, she had two sisters aged 31 and 20 and two brothers aged 27 and 18.

Her eldest sister Toni said: "She has two nephews and a niece who loved her to bits."

Miss Riches also leaves a partner, who is a serving soldier.

Pc Dave Clark, of Stanway road policing unit, said: "The family is devastated at the loss of Debbie, and wish to be left in privacy to grieve."

Police are unsure whether Miss Riches was riding her bike or pushing it, but know she was definitely on the pavement when the accident happened.

She was trapped underneath the car, with severe head injuries. She was taken to Colchester General Hospital, but doctors were unable to save her.

The 24-year-old owner of the car, which had its soft top roof down, was a front seat passenger in the accident and was slightly injured and treated for severe shock.

In an earlier appeal, police asked for the driver of a yellow sports car to come forward as a potential witness. The driver of this vehicle has now made contact with police.

nEssex Police this weekend named two men killed in separate accidents on Friday. Mark Stone, 24, of Rectory Road, Writtle, was killed in a motorcycle crash at High Ongar at 4.40pm.

He was riding his motorbike on the A414 towards Harlow when he was in collision with a white Toyota Carina travelling in the opposite direction and then a red Peugeot 206. He suffered multiple injuries and died shortly afterwards at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

Brian Waters, 66, of Baker's Lane, West Hanningfield, died after a road crash at 10.45pm.

Mr Waters was travelling on a slip road off the Southend-bound track of the A13 near the Five Bells roundabout at Basildon, when his black Skoda car left the road and turned upside down. He was taken to Basildon hospital, but pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

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