Southwold/Lowestoft: Tributes paid to teenage golfer killed in crash

SUFFOLK’S sporting community is today mourning the death of one of the county’s most talented young golfers.

Sam Jaggard, whose life was cut tragically short in a car crash which killed another young passenger, was described as a “prodigious talent” by his golfing mentor.

The 18-year-old was killed when the red Vauxhall Corsa he was travelling in was in collision with another car at Gillingham, near Beccles, at about 6.30pm on Tuesday.

The crash also took the life of fellow passenger Kathryn Rivett and left a third teenager critically ill in hospital.

Sam was a “scratch golfer”, with a handicap of zero, and had excelled at the sport in the last year, finishing second in the 2012 Suffolk Amateur Championship.

He began a promising career as a junior at Rookery Park Golf Club, in Carlton Colville, before moving to Southwold Golf Club, where he worked in the pro shop for club professional Robin Mann.

Sam was travelling in the back seat of the car when the crash happened on the A143/A146 Norwich Road, also killing front seat passenger Kathryn, 18.

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The driver, Georgia Puttock, also 18, remains in a “critical but stable” condition at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The three, all from Lowestoft, and who all previously studied at Kirkley High School, now the East Point Academy, were heading towards Lowestoft when they were involved in an accident with a black Mercedes travelling in the opposite direction near a strawberry picking area west of the McDonalds and BP roundabout.

The occupants of the Mercedes, who are not local, were not seriously injured.

Robin Mann, Southwold Golf Club’s pro for the last two years, broke the news to colleagues and members yesterday morning. “Everyone is stunned by the news,” he said. “I’m just coming to terms with it myself. We’re all in shock.

“Sam was up at the club on Tuesday and we had a long talk together. He was a prodigious talent and I was heavily involved in nurturing that talent. It was my job to help bring him on.

“He could have gone all the way but that opportunity has been taken away. He was an awesome talent and it’s sickening to know he won’t fulfil his potential.”

A spokesman for Rookery Park Golf Club said: “His cheerful outgoing personality will be missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with Sam’s family at this very difficult time.” Sam played for Suffolk men’s first team in the Anglian League against Northamptonshire at Peterborough Milton Golf Club at the end of June and won his foursomes match playing with Ipswich’s Josh Cottrell.

He also played for Southwold in the Hambro Cup and Stenson Shield, and had gone from a five handicap to scratch in the last year.

The road was closed for more than five hours following the crash, as investigations were carried out and diversions put in place.

A four-vehicle crash had also happened on the same stretch of road at 8.45am on Tuesday. A woman was taken to the James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, after suffering injuries that were described by police as “not life-changing”.

Anyone who witnessed the collision and has not already spoken to police should contact Norfolk Constabulary’s Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

n An MP has today questioned the emergency services after they took nine hours to tell the public about a fatal road crash.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter made the call after the collision. He said: “It is always important that public services are open with the public when there are incidents – in the interest of those involved, their families and for maintaining public safety.”

The incident was attended by the police, the East of England Ambulance Service and fire brigades from both Norfolk and Suffolk. However, only Norfolk Fire Service published details on their website – although very minor information was given.

Norfolk police did not alert the media until 3.15am yesterday but a spokesman said the priority was dealing with the incident and preserving life.

tom.potter@eadt.co.uk

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