Tributes to victims of road crash

THREE families are today grieving for two sisters, a teenage girl and a 40-year-old man who were killed in an horrific crash in the early hours of Saturday morning.

By David Lennard

THREE families are today grieving for two sisters, a teenage girl and a 40-year-old man who were killed in an horrific crash in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Another four people were still in hospital last night after the accident on the A12 at Blythburgh, near Southwold.

The three teenagers who died - sisters Claire and Jennifer Stoddart, 18 and 15, and their friend 18-year-old Carla Took - were coming home to the Lowestoft area.

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They had been celebrating the end of their exams at the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Ipswich before their Vauxhall Astra was involved in a collision with a Renault Laguna.

A passenger in the Laguna, 40-year-old Simon Bonner from Yoxford, near Saxmundham, was killed instantly.

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The two communities were in shock last night as police appealed for witnesses to come forward and flowers were laid at the scene.

The parents of Carla Took paid tribute to their “dearest daughter”, saying they would always love her.

In a statement last night , the family said: “Carla was the perfect daughter with so many friends. She was hard-working at school, working towards a place at university, which she succeeded in obtaining at Lincoln.

“Carla was a well-balanced girl, who loved life and worked hard to get what she wanted.

“All that knew her, loved her, and the concert she went to with her friends was to celebrate the end of her A levels.

“Carla had a wide circle of friends. We will all miss Carla dearly. Carla was kind, thoughtful, caring and loving.”

The parents of Claire, who was driving the car, and Jennifer Stoddart were still too distressed to talk to the media last night.

There was a sombre mood in the village pub that had been the “local” for Mr Bonner.

Peter and Venessa Swan, of The Blois Arms, at Yoxford, said everyone had been stunned to learn of the accident and Mr Bonner's death.

“Simon was the life and soul of the pub who had many friends in the village. He was like a magnet and would attract people to him,” said Mr Swan.

“He will be very sadly missed and was popular with everyone he met. I never saw Simon with a frown on his face as he was the sort of character who was always smiling and would brighten up any room he entered.”

Mr Bonner had worked in the building trade and had also been a talented local footballer who played for a number of clubs in the Halesworth and Saxmundham areas including Wenhaston United and Benhall St Mary.

“Simon was always joking and was great to have in your team,” said a former colleague.

Canon Richard Ginn, in charge of a number of parishes in the area, including Yoxford, said prayers were said yesterday for all those involved in the accident.

“This was a most tragic event that has affected a lot of people. Our church service was at Westleton and prayers were said for those who died, those who were injured, as well as for those grieving and for everyone involved in such a horrific event,” he said.

Mr Ginn said the church and its members would be available to help those that wanted assistance.

“A tragedy like this affects the whole village and unfortunately we have had to deal with tragedies like this in the past.

“We will do all we can to help as it is important that at times like this we all support each other,” he said.

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