Villages in mourning for crash victims

A DEVASTATED mother said she would never get over the death of her son, who was killed in a crash on the A140 three weeks after his 21st birthday.James Smy, from Debenham, died in the accident that also killed pub manageress Kirsty Cracknell, 24, at 3am on Sunday.

By John Howard

A DEVASTATED mother said she would never get over the death of her son, who was killed in a crash on the A140 three weeks after his 21st birthday.

James Smy, from Debenham, died in the accident that also killed pub manageress Kirsty Cracknell, 24, at 3am on Sunday.

The Vauxhall Tigra they were travelling in had collided with a Volkswagen near Brockford Grange.


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Last night, James's mother Yvonne Read paid tribute to her son, who had celebrated his 21st birthday on October 9.

“Words can not express how we are all feeling at this very sad time, and all our lives will never be the same again as part of us had died with him,” she said.

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“We will never get over losing James and he will remain in our hearts forever. He was liked by all that knew him and will be missed by so many.

“He was a member of a very close-knit family whose lives have been completely devastated by his loss.”

James, who went to Wetheringsett Primary School and Debenham High School, ran his own business buying and repairing cars and was also a motorbike enthusiast.

His former headteacher at Debenham, Mike Crawshaw, said James was a lively, popular and interesting character.

“Staff are deeply shocked and upset. He will be greatly missed. This is so sad,” he said.

Family and friends of Ms Cracknell gathered on Sunday night at the Bucks Head pub, in Thwaite, and stood for a minute's silence in honour of her.

Ms Cracknell, who lived in a bungalow in Roman Way, Stoke Ash, had been working at Bucks Head for the pub's new tenants who took over two months ago.

Neighbours in her home village also paid tribute to her. Linda Munro said: “She was a fun-loving girl and always had a smile on her face.”

Jane Walsh added: “When we heard about her death the community was in shock. We just all come out of our front doors to have a chat and cried in each others arms.

“She was an animal lover and had two cats. She had an ill kitten and would always take it to work at the Bucks Head. The regulars would love to see it.”

The crash lead to the closure of the A140 for seven hours and prompted renewed calls for an end to the current system of variable speed limits along the road. The accident happened on a 40mph stretch of the carriageway.

It was the first fatal accident on the Suffolk stretch of the A140, between Coddenham and Scole, since February.

Police officers are appealing for witnesses to the accident to come forward. Witnesses should contact Pc Dave Taylor at Suffolk Constabulary's headquarters on 01473 613500.

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