Tribute to young crash victim

A FATHER has paid moving tribute to his only son who was tragically killed when his van ploughed into a tree as he drove to work.Landscape gardener William Hatch, 23, from Lavenham, near Sudbury, died on Thursday morning in the accident, on a country road in nearby Preston St Mary.

A FATHER has paid moving tribute to his only son who was tragically killed when his van ploughed into a tree as he drove to work.

Landscape gardener William Hatch, 23, from Lavenham, near Sudbury, died on Thursday morning in the accident, on a country road in nearby Preston St Mary.

At the time of his death, he was planning to start his own business and was saving to buy his first house.

His father, Robert, said the death of his adored son, who also leaves his mother, Fiona, sister Jenny and long-term girlfriend, Anna Marsden, had left a gaping hole in his family and had devastated colleagues and friends alike.


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Mr Hatch said he would remember his son, who still lived at the family home in Bolton Street, as a helpful and thoughtful family man who was always ready with a laugh and a story.

“We are all in shock and absolutely devastated,” said Mr Hatch.

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“He was very fun-loving and laid back but was always ready to do things off his own back for friends and family. He loved to party but he had started saving for his own house and was very reliable.”

Mr Hatch spoke of how highly William was regarded by those who had worked with him at Miles Waterscapes in Great Ashfield, near Stowmarket, and of his many good friends.

He described William as someone who loved the countryside and had numerous interests including swimming, sailing, skiing and shooting.

William's sister Jenny, 20, said: “He was a very good brother who looked after me and was very good to his friends. He would just come into my room and he would tell stories for half an hour.

“He was a real joker who always saw the funny side but he always took care of mum and I - he was very traditional and in that way he was very protective. We got on very well, he was a great communicator.”

Miss Hatch also spoke fondly of the many memories of them together on boating trips with the family and working on their grandfather's fruit farm with their cousins.

William's uncle Robert said: “We will remember him as a happy go lucky person who was always smiling and who always saw the good in people.

“He was popular and laid back, I don't think I ever saw him angry once but he was very organised and he loved his job.”

A spokesman for Miles Waterscapes said the firm was reeling from the tragedy: “We know we have been very lucky to have employed William, who was an absolute delight and a very capable and highly respected young man.

“William was very popular with all in the company and our customers he has worked with and we thank them for their sympathies. We will miss his professionalism, his skill, his caring and his fun. He was a very special man.”

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 8 at St Peter and St Paul in Lavenham.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the accident at 6.15am on Thursday and police said they were keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the collision.

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