Fatal crash brings death toll to 34

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into a two-vehicle collision that has claimed the life of a motorcyclist.The rider, who has not been named, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which happened along the A134 between Assington and Leavenheath.

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into a two-vehicle collision that has claimed the life of a motorcyclist.

The rider, who has not been named, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which happened along the A134 between Assington and Leavenheath.

The crash takes the number of fatalities on Suffolk's roads to 34 so far this year, and comes after two people were killed in separate incidents elsewhere in the county at the weekend.

Suffolk police said the incident, which took place at around 1.15pm, involved an orange and white Suzuki GSXR 750 motorbike, and a Mercedes Sprinter van.

A spokeswoman said: “The rider of the motorcycle is not thought to be local. The van driver suffered from shock, but was not injured and was not taken to hospital.”

The busy road, which runs from Sudbury to Colchester, was closed as a result of the incident, with hundreds of motorist being diverted along the A1071 to Ipswich.

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A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said two crews were called to the A134 at just after 1.10pm, but confirmed the male motorcycle rider was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

The latest fatal crash follows two more deaths on Suffolk's roads over the weekend.

Russell Arnold, 36, from the Woodbridge area, was killed when the white Ford Transit van he was driving collided with several parked cars and a pub sign in Snape.

The crash happened outside the Crown Inn on the B1069 at about 10.45pm on Saturday as he travelled towards Snape, from the Snape crossroads.

It came hours after a man was killed when his car was involved in an early morning collision with a 50-tonne tipper lorry in thick fog just outside Newmarket.

Police said the brown Proton Persona the man was driving was in collision with the Daf lorry at just after 2am on Saturday on the main A1304 road - Barbara Stradbroke Avenue.

The man, who has not yet been named, is thought to have died instantly in the crash.

Suffolk police is conducting an investigation into the high fatality rates on Suffolk's roads so far this year and is expected to report back to Suffolk Police Authority in the months ahead.

Guy McGregor, county council portfolio holder for road safety, said: “There are no special clusters in Suffolk indicating a particular black spot. We are trying to examine all of the deaths which have happened and the cause of those deaths will be identified.”

A total of 116 people have been killed in road traffic collisions so far this year in the counties of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Cambridgeshire has seen 43 people killed in 39 fatal collisions since January while Norfolk has seen 39 people killed from 36 fatal road collisions.

Inspector Trevor Sharman, of Suffolk police's roads policing unit, said: “We have over the last few years seen a downward trend. It's disappointing this year we are bucking that trend.

“I cannot see any particular common theme that stands out. We are a rural county, we have a high degree of traffic using rural roads and yes, we have a high rate of collisions on rural roads.”

Anyone who witnessed yesterday's crash, or who may have seen either vehicle in the moments leading to the collision, is urged to contact Pc Andrew Fossey, at the force headquarters' Roads Policing Unit, on 01473 613500.

nPolice are also investigating two separate road accidents that happened in neighbouring Suffolk villages yesterday.

Emergency services were first called to Great Waldingfield at just after 10.30am, after receiving reports of a collision between a red Volkswagen Polo and a green Peugeot 106.

Two fire crews from Sudbury attended the incident, to release a female from one of the cars who is believed to have suffered a broken leg.

Suffolk police said they were then called to the nearby village of Little Waldingfield around two hours later, after a car overturned in a field.

The male driver was released from the vehicle by the fire service, although it is believed he escaped the incident unharmed.

2002: 43 deaths in 42 accidents

2003: 60 deaths in 50 accidents

2004: 42 deaths in 40 accidents

2005: 36 deaths in 33 accidents

2006: (to date) 31 deaths in 26 accidents

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