Hawstead crash driver becomes sixth fatality on Suffolk’s roads in seven weeks

Scene of the crash at Hawstead, near Bury St Edmunds.

Scene of the crash at Hawstead, near Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner last night shared his “deep concern” over yet another tragedy on the county’s roads – as the death toll from road crashes reached six in the last seven weeks.

The total number of fatalities across Suffolk this year hit 12 on Tuesday, when a man died three-and-a-half weeks after the car he was travelling in crashed into a tree at Hawstead, outside Bury St Edmunds.

He was the sixth person to be killed on the county’s roads since late April – with four of the victims being motorcyclists.

Police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore said the rising death toll was something the constabulary took “extremely seriously” and called for a multi-agency response.

He said several hundred thousands pounds of funding raised from speed awareness courses was being ring-fenced to spend solely on improving road safety, and that more investment in policing and enforcement was also being considered.


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Last year, 30 people were killed on Suffolk’s roads. Six were motorcyclists – three less than in 2013, when a total 25 people died on the county’s roads.

The most recent death came almost a month after the crash took place, when a vehicle collided with a tree close to The Pound, in Hawstead, at about 11.20am on Thursday, May 14.

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The male driver was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, but he died from his injuries on Tuesday. A female passenger in the vehicle was uninjured.

The man’s death comes just two days after a fatal motorbike accident near Great Barton on Sunday morning.

Liam Jolly, 42, of Manor Ash Road, on Bury’s Moreton Hall estate, had been riding a motorcycle which was involved in a collision with a Range Rover on the A143. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Suffolk police have appealed for witnesses to come forward. They are looking to trace the driver of a blue Vauxhall, thought to be a Corsa, who may have witnessed the motorbike overtaking shortly before the collision.

Liam Jolly’s death came eight days after a fatal motorbike crash on the A1101 at Lackford, which led to Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways James Finch pledging to work with emergency services to make the county’s roads as safe as possible. He last night offered his condolences to all the families of those involved in the recent tragedies.

Mr Passmore said he had met with Mr Finch to highlight the need for a “collective” approach to improving the general safety of Suffolk’s roads, and that he would be taking the issue to a Suffolk Roadsafe partnership board meeting in September.

He said: “I am deeply concerned to hear this very sad news about another fatality in such a short period of time.

“We have got to do something – because of the distress and hurt it causes the people involved. It’s something we are taking extremely seriously.

“We are looking at putting forward investment in roads policing. If it requires extra investment to make sure people drive more safely, or a new motorcycle unit on Suffolk’s roads, then that’s what we’ll be doing.

“The police can’t do everything. We need a multi-agency approach. We will be looking at working with young drivers and considering more enforcement.

“We are looking at every possible action, for police, fire, highways and me in control of the budget.”

The most recent fatal crash happened on May 30, between West Stow Road, Flempton, and the Icknield Way junction at Lackford, 47-year-old biker David Lister, from Ely, who died at the scene following a collision with a Ford Fusion.

It happened just days after 18-year-old West Suffolk College student John Walsh died after the Vauxhall Corsa he was driving along the A14 at Rougham left the road and rolled into a field.

Mr Walsh, from Ash Road in Onehouse, near Stowmarket, died in hospital from serious brain injuries.

On May 13 another 18-year-old, Ellie Nixon, from Felixstowe, lost her life when her Ford Ka was involved in a collision with a lorry in a lay-by on the eastbound carriageway of the A14 at Bucklesham.

And on April 24, 19-year-old father Darnell Meade, of Needham Market, died when his motorbike was involved in a collision with two other vehicles on Norwich Road, Barham.

•Any witnesses to the Hawstead crash are asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

Anyone who witnessed Sunday’s crash on the A143, or who believes they may have seen any of the vehicles prior to it, is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101 quoting reference CAD 182 of June 7.

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