Tributes paid to death crash husband

AN ALMOST blind widow whose husband died in a horrific crash on a Suffolk road has paid an emotional tribute to the man who "transformed" her life.Francesca Davies said her beloved husband, Gareth, 47, asked her to marry him shortly after she lost the sight in one eye and was beginning to lose the use of her remaining eye.

AN ALMOST blind widow whose husband died in a horrific crash on a Suffolk road has paid an emotional tribute to the man who "transformed" her life.

Francesca Davies said her beloved husband, Gareth, 47, asked her to marry him shortly after she lost the sight in one eye and was beginning to lose the use of her remaining eye.

In the five "wonderful" years they had following their wedding she said he became her sight.

She is struggling to come to terms with his death on Tuesday on the A134 near Ingham and has called for improvements to the stretch of road to prevent similar accidents.


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Mrs Davies, of Grove Avenue, Little Waldingfield, near Sudbury, who has only 20% of the use of one eye remaining and expects to eventually lose her sight completely, said the love her husband gave her will keep her strong.

"I'm devastated by what has happened but because I had so much love and a strong will I will get through this with my family and friends. I know Gareth will always be with me."

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The grieving widow said she and her husband met at the Swan Hotel in Lavenham.

"It was like an angel had come down. I feel he was meant to be here for a purpose - he was a very special man. I asked him if he really wanted to take me on because it's a big thing taking on someone who is almost blind but he had no doubts. He said he loved me and from then on I couldn't fault him in any way. He gave me everything I could ever want and more.

"I will remember his smile and the fact that he was so caring and happy.

"We did everything together. If he was washing up I would be drying and if he was in the garden I would be there as well."

The widow said her husband, a civil engineer originally from Portsmouth, also adored their five pet cats but was especially fond of Ben a black cat.

Mrs Davies, 38, who has optic neuritis – an inflammation of the optic nerve - plans to plant one of her husband's favourite trees, a maple, in his memory at the scene of last week's accident near Bury St Edmunds.

His Mondeo car was in collision with a lorry and ended up only yards from the spot where 30-year-old Paul Bailey was killed in an accident in June 2000.

It will be the second maple at the scene as Mr Bailey's mother and stepfather planted one of the trees there to commemorate their son.

Mrs Davies, backed villagers' calls for safety improvements following her husband's death.

She said: "Although this is tragic and perhaps wouldn't have happened if something had been done after the previous death I feel that if something can come out of this it's a good thing.

Villagers criticised Suffolk County Council after last week's crash and said the authority pledged improvement measures around a decade ago. They also blamed the number of lorries using the road for the accidents which have blighted the A134 in recent years.

Tim Root, chairman of Ingham Parish Council, said a weight ban imposed at Norton 10 years ago had funnelled all HGV traffic up the A134 - doubling the number of trucks on the road.

He said: "We are concerned at the sheer volume of traffic using the road…inevitably there are going to be accidents. The view of the parish council is straightforward – we are more than happy to take our fair share of lorries but are not prepared to take everyone else's."

Rod Sore, team leader for safety and signals at the county council said: "Our safety engineers will carry out a full investigation into this tragic accident to see if any highway improvements need to be made to improve safety on this stretch."

Anyone with information about the accident should contact Pc Kevin Fuller of Suffolk police on 01284 774224.

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