US airman's son killed in road crash

SUFFOLK'S American community is grieving todayafter an airman's teenage son was killed in a horrific road crash which left his friend fighting for his life in hospital.

SUFFOLK'S American community is grieving todayafter an airman's teenage son was killed in a horrific road crash which left his friend fighting for his life in hospital.

The 18-year-old died almost instantly when his car went out of control on the B1107 road between Brandon and Thetford and collided with a tree.

Police said the victims, both 18 and the sons of servicemen at RAF Mildenhall, were in a green left-hand drive Volvo S60, which was travelling towards Brandon when the accident happened at 7.50pm.

just outside Thetford Golf Club.


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The crash comes after a series of fatal accidents last year around the base, including one in September which claimed the life of base wife Cortina Hamilton, 20 and her children three year old Alyssa, Malik 22 months and stepson Jalin five.

Captain Shane Balken, spokesman for RAF Mildenhall, confirmed that the teenagers were the sons of US servicemen at the base and said their families had been told.

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He said the base community was in mourning once again because of a fatal road crash.

"This is really, really sad - especially as it involves dependent children. It's heartbreaking. I have talked to base commander Colonel Richard Devereaux this morning and he is really shocked."

Capt Balken insisted crucial extra driver training introduced for airmen and women and their families following last year's accident on the B1101 road just outside the base which claimed the life of Mrs Hamilton and her children was working well.

"For the most part I think the base has done a really good job of training to cut driving fatalities but for this to happen is bad."

He said all drivers are now required to take extra training for handling British roads when they arrive in the UK.

Carol Jones, bartender at Thetford Golf Club, said the first she knew of the tragedy was when officers interrupted a St Patrick's Day party at the club later on Saturday night.

"They wanted to know if anyone expected here hadn't turned up or if anyone had gone missing. It's absolutely awful, mainly because there is no lighting at all. I would like to see more lighting around here. It happened just outside the club and everyone here is very sad today - especially as it happened as people were celebrating," she said.

Station Officer Barry Key, of Thetford fire station, said the injured passenger was led to an ambulance by firefighters and did not need to be cut free from the wreckage.

Firefighters arrived on the scene within minutes but could do nothing to save the driver.

"There was no chance of saving him - he had already been declared dead - but the car had wrapped itself around the tree and he was badly trapped. We had to wait for police investigators to carry out their work before we could get him out using hydraulic rescue equipment."

A police spokesman said: "The driver of the vehicle, who came from Mildenhall, suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. His front seat passenger, also of Mildenhall, is currently in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, with serious head injuries. His current condition is "critical but stable."

The spokesman said neither of the victims was in the USAF but both their fathers were airmen at RAF Mildenhall.

No one from Norfolk County Council, which is responsible for the stretch of road, was available for comment last night.

Any witnesses should contact Pc Stuart Townsend on 01953 424242.

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