Parents' anguish over drink-drive killer son

THE parents of a drink-driver who lost his own life in a crash, and caused the death of a young school teacher, have spoken of their anguish.

Colin Adwent

THE parents of a drink-driver who lost his own life in a crash, and caused the death of a young school teacher, have spoken of their anguish.

An inquest into the death of Matthew Anderson, 24, of Heathland Road, Holbrook, recorded a finding of accidental death.

However, Greater Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean also found that Royal Hospital School teacher Sarah Lee, 24, of Bergholt Road, Colchester, had been unlawfully killed in the two-car crash just outside Stutton, near Brantham.

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Anderson was nearly two-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit when the tragedy occurred on December 5 last year.

His parents, Christine and John, and his 26-year-old brother, Nick, have also been left distraught by the double tragedy.

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They stressed their youngest son had previously always been careful not to drink and drive.

Mrs Anderson, 59, said: “We are not making excuses for Matthew's behaviour. For some reason unknown Matthew drove while under the influence of alcohol. It was totally out of character and had, unfortunately, tragic consequences because an innocent person paid the price as well.

“We are heartbroken and devastated. We feel so much for the poor young girl and her family.

“Matthew would never, ever drink and drive. He sometimes drank too much like most young men. If Matthew was drinking, he would leave his car somewhere overnight and his father would give him a lift the following morning to pick it up.

“Matthew was a very thoughtful, considerate, loving and caring son. He was honest and hardworking and would do anything for anybody. I could give many examples of the thoughtful things he did. That was his character.

Mr Anderson gave an illustration of the Matthew they knew.

The 66-year-old said: “His friend had done two tours of Afghanistan with the army. His mother lived on her own and Matthew used to go round two or three times a week to do her garden, run her errands or just sit and chat to her. She said he was like a second son.”

Matthew Anderson trained to be a carpenter, but decided it was not for him so he re-trained at Otley College, passing his course to be a plant operator.

He worked for several companies and was employed on a job at Ipswich waterfront. At the time of his death he was working for a business in Great Bromley, Essex.

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