Tributes to 'gentle giant' son

THE heartbroken parents of a young man killed in a car accident on a dangerous stretch of road have paid tribute to their son who they described as a “gentle giant”.

THE heartbroken parents of a young man killed in a car accident on a dangerous stretch of road have paid tribute to their son who they described as a “gentle giant”.

Keen bodybuilder and sportsman Jamie Murray, 20, died when his Ford Escort collided with a Chrysler Voyager on the B1115 between Great Waldingfield and Sudbury on Saturday.

Mr Murray, of Wades Crescent, Little Waldingfield, died just yards from where his old school friend Ross Morgans, 18, of Great Cornard, was killed in another car accident on the same stretch of road three years ago. He is also the 22nd person to be injured on the route since 1999.

Mr Murray's devastated parents and local campaigners are now calling on county road chiefs to carry out urgent improvements on the stretch - which comes directly after two sharp bends - before more lives are lost.

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Last night, Mr Murray's parents Brian and Marlene described their son as a “very special boy, who was caring and sensitive” and say his death will leave a “gigantic hole” in their lives.

Mr Murray was brought up in Great Cornard after his family moved to Suffolk from London. He was educated at the village's primary, middle and upper schools.

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Even as a youngster, Mr Murray was a keen and accomplished sportsman. He ran for West Suffolk at cross-country before joining the Halstead Road Runners club with his father, where he went on to win many competitions from the ages of 12 to 15.

He was also a keen footballer and as a youngster played for local team Cornard Dynamos, and in more recent years he played with his younger brother Jason, 18, in the Sunday league for Cornard Ramblers.

Mr Murray was also a former member of the Sudbury Boxing Club and martial arts groups in Great Cornard.

For the past three years, he had become a keen bodybuilder and spent several days a week training at Sudbury's Yellow Dot sports centre.

His father said: “He was so dedicated, he went from 10 stone to 15 stone. He looked very intimidating, but he was a gentle giant, he was very laid back and would never hurt anyone.”

Since last September, Mr Murray had been working as a labourer and joiner for a local building firm, but he was hoping to join the Royal Marines this year. He had previously passed all his tests to get into the marines and was due to go back later this year to gain entry.

Last night, his heartbroken mother said: “He such a loving and caring son, who was always worried about his mum. We have a big family and we are all devastated. We feel like our hearts have been ripped out and the pain will never go away. He was very close to his brother, who is just devastated.”

His parents are now calling for urgent action to improve safety on the B1115. His mother said: “I would like to see more warning signs because it is a very dangerous road.”

Babergh district councillor Albert Pearce, who lives close to where the accident happened, has also called for urgent action.

“The traffic has increased so much in recent years and it is a very busy and dangerous road. The problem is only going to get worse with so much development in the town. The county council should get down here and look at the situation. There are two very sharp bends.

“How many more young people have to lose their lives before something is done? It must be a priority. If it means taking out the bends, then so be it.”

Suffolk County Council has confirmed two people have been killed and five seriously injured in accidents along the B1115 since 1999. A further 17 people have received slight injuries in minor accidents on the road in the same time period.

A 40mph speed limit was introduced in 2003 to slow down traffic, particularly on the bend.

A spokesman 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 the safety on this stretch of road."

Mr Murray's funeral is expected to be held in Great Cornard next week, but the final arrangements have not yet been made. An inquest into his death was opened and adjourned at Shire Hall, Bury St Edmunds yesterday. Anyone with information on the accident should contact Pc Andy Fossey on 01284 613500.

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