Parents' tribute to London crash victim

DEVASTATED parents have paid tribute to their beloved son who was killed in a tragic road accident in London after a day out with friends to watch rugby at Twickenham.

Will Clarke

DEVASTATED parents have paid tribute to their beloved son who was killed in a tragic road accident in London after a day out with friends to watch rugby at Twickenham.

Gareth Weiland, 26, from Boxford, near Sudbury, was hit by a dustcart when he stepped out of a taxi in Bow, east London, in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday.

He had been enjoying an evening with friends after they had been to Twickenham to watch the London Sevens tournament on Sunday.

The businessman suffered devastating head injuries in the crash and died at the Royal London Hospital.

Just hours later, his family took the courageous step of allowing his organs to be used to save others - in honour of his “generous and kind” personality and love of life.

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His mother and father, Marianne and John Weiland, of the Causeway, Boxford, said their beloved son's sudden death had left them bereft.

But the couple, along with Gareth's sister Helen Barkworth-Knight, said they were thankful for his life and his personality.

Mrs Weiland said it was difficult to put her feelings into words but she thanked everyone in the tight-knit community of Boxford, where her son grew up and was well known, for their words of sympathy. “Everyone has said such nice things about Gareth. We knew that their words are true but it is wonderful to hear,” she said.

The mother said she had visited her son in intensive care on Monday where the family decided to allow his organs to go for donation in honour of Gareth's generosity in life.

Mrs Weiland also thanked hospital staff for treating her son's body with such care even after they knew he could definitely no longer hear them.

Her husband said it had been a terrible loss but added he would remember his son's sporting, academic and business achievements.

Gareth, who had worked for a communications firm in Buckinghamshire for the past 15 months, had been keenly involved in many aspects of community life growing up in Boxford - including the cubs, scouts and beavers. He said his son was particularly involved in the village football team.

Mr Weiland said: “If it was there to do Gareth would do it. Even while he was at university in Nottingham he would come back to the village to play in matches. He was outgoing and everybody who met Gareth liked him.”

Mrs Barkworth-Knight said she had been particularly close to her brother - even after he had gone away to university and then moved to Buckinghamshire to pursue a future in business.

“I have never known someone with so many friends,” she said. “He was such a generous, funny and gentle person who lived a full life - at weekends you felt lucky to have a few hours with him.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said they were called to the serious collision on Bow Road at 3.25am.

He added that officers were investigating the collision but no arrests have been made.

A service celebrating Gareth's life will be held at Boxford village hall at 2.30pm on June 5 with internment later at the parish church.