Family’s tribute to Sprowston motorcyclist killed in A47 crash

David Holmes, who died in a crash on the A47. David Holmes, who died in a crash on the A47.

Monday, June 17, 2013
12:00 PM

The family of an experienced motorcyclist from Norwich, who died in a crash on the A47, paid tribute to a “fantastic guy” who “packed masses into life.”

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David Holmes, 38, who lived in Sprowston, was riding his silver Yamaha towards Norwich when he was involved in a crash with a Renault car which was travelling in the opposite direction at about 7.40pm on Saturday, June 8.

His parents Bren and Ken Holmes and sister Emma yesterday spoke of their loss of a “very special son” who had left a “huge gap in our hearts.”

The keen biker, a former North Walsham High School and Paston Sixth Form pupil, who had been riding for 22 years, died at the scene of the A47 crash at Honingham.

A statement from his family said Mr Holmes had invested in the best available motorcycle gear and had installed a camera in his helmet, which would have recorded his last moments.

They said: “David was an experienced, fast, but safe, defensive rider. Several of his friends have told us he was one of the most skilled riders they knew and the only person they’d happily ride pillion with.”

Mr Holmes, who worked as an electrical technician for Anglian Water, had a passion for motorcycles and restoring old bikes. He also was interested in electronics, computers, gaming, music, film, photography and the environment.

His family said: “David packed masses into life; he was happy and enjoying every day. Travel, charity parachute jumps, track days, race meetings, marshalling, concerts, he did all that and more. He was always there for us.”

“David has been the best son he could possibly have been; a fantastic guy. He was considerate of others, too; even his neighbours loved him, despite his bikes. His loss leaves a huge gap in our hearts and lives that can never be filled. We miss his smile, his hugs and his sheer zest for life. We love you David.”

Mr Holmes also formed his own auto-electrics and trading company, called Elect-Roads, reflecting his interest in both bikes and electronics.

“He worked hard for his achievements and had a powerful drive to learn. Several friends have told us how he inspired them and assisted them through their education. While working full-time in a factory, he attended classes, three evenings a week, for two years to gain his City and Guilds in Electronics. He then completed a four year Anglian Water apprenticeship in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and gained a first class degree in Computer Systems Engineering at the UEA. If he wanted to do a job, or became interested in something, he learned about it. We were constantly astounded by his knowledge and skills and we don’t know the full extent,” his family said.

Darren Livock, Mr Holmes’s manager at Anglian Water, added: “It’s very hard to come to terms with the loss of a colleague and someone who was a close friend to many. David was a very genuine and intelligent man whose sense of humour was second to none. He was completely selfless in the way he supported others and got his reward from the pleasure he received from helping other people.”

“David has been described by his friends as having a moral compass like no other. He was a great friend and colleague.”

An inquest opened into Mr Holmes’s death by Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong on Friday said a post-mortem examination had been carried out and a preliminary report states cause of death as multiple injuries.

Mr Armstrong adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

The crash has further increased pressure for the A47 to be dualled. Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has been lobbying the government to give the go-ahead for work to be done. He has been told a transport minister will be visiting Norfolk to look at the road and hear the case for dualling.

Anyone who witnessed the collision should contact PC Chris Curtis or Sgt Chris Bradley at Swaffham Roads Policing on 101.

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