Town's shock after teenager's death

A TIGHT-KNIT community is today in shock after a popular teenager was killed in a motorcycle crash.

Naomi Cassidy

A TIGHT-KNIT community is today in shock after a popular teenager was killed in a motorcycle crash.

Tom Marshall's life was tragically cut short when his motorcycle collided with a car in Orford on Friday evening.

Members of the close community in Orford, where he lived, are trying to support each other in the wake of the devastating news and a memorial service is due to be held today by his friends.


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Tom, who was 18 and a sixth former at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, was riding a Suzuki motorbike along Ipswich Road when it collided with a red Mazda car just after 5pm on Friday.

Paramedics and police officers went to the scene but he was pronounced dead when they arrived.

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A page on the social networking site, Facebook, has been set up in memory of him and more than 400 members have already joined. His friends have organised a memorial service to be held in Elmhurst Park after school where they plan to gather for a picnic and pay their last respects to him.

The message on Facebook reads: “We are all going to go to Elmhurst Park and pay our respects to the late, great Thomas Marshall. Bring food that reminds you of him as we shall have a picnic thing and reminisce about him.

“The aim of this memorial is to celebrate Tom's life, in order for us to not forgot him and all the good things that he has done for all of us.”

Tom, of Gedgrave Road, was the youngest of three. His family are well known in the community and are heavily involved in village life as his mother is a practice nurse and his father runs the local youth club.

Floral tributes have been laid at the scene and locals describe the mood in the village as “extremely sombre”.

Rosie Keeble, parish clerk of Orford and Gedgrave Parish Council, said: “It is quite devastating. He was a popular boy and they are a lovely family.

“I do not know the words to describe how we are all feeling. It is a small village and we are a very close community. It is a tragic thing to have happened. We are all trying to support each other through this.”

Stuart Bacon, who runs Orford Craft Shop in Front Street, said: "It has had a major impact on us all. Almost everyone has been affected because he was such a likable chap who everyone seemed to know.

"I have been affected by his death as have my staff. It's almost as if they have lost one of their own relatives. I often used to pass him in the car. As I was leaving Orford, he would be returning on his motorbike.

"We have of course had deaths here before but I think this has really hit home because he was so young. A lot of people have been coming into the shop for cards of condolence."

Another villager said the news of Thomas's death "devastated the village" but added that there would be "huge support" for his grieving family.

Among the other tributes from his friends on the Facebook page was one from Danielle Sian Bailey.

She said: “Rest in peace Tom, my thoughts are with you and every single one of your closest friends and all your family. This is so unbelievably unfair.”

Another reads: “RIP Tom. You were a kind hearted, genuine guy. A man of integrity. Your passing has come as a shock and devastation to us all.”

Abi Elsom said: “Rest in peace Tom. You will be greatly missed by so many people. I'm so sorry.”

The road where the collision took place was closed for more than four hours on Friday while police carried out an investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

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