New road crash tragedy for Yaxham family – 13 years after teenage daughter was killed by a drink-driver
PUBLISHED: 11:08 02 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:08 02 May 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2014
A grieving family have spoken of their double heartache after a motorbike crash claimed the life of a doting grandfather – 13 years after his teenage daughter was killed by a drink-driver.
Mervyn Taylor was riding his beloved Yamaha back from a christening in Scotland when he was in collision with a four-wheel-drive vehicle on the busy A9 in Perthshire.
The 56-year-old and his wife Jacquie had just become godparents to twins and were travelling home to Clint Green, Yaxham, on Easter Monday.
A carpenter by trade but a bike enthusiast at heart, Mr Taylor chose to ride alone to enjoy the scenic route while his wife, daughter and grandchildren followed behind. But in a cruel twist of fate, it was Mr Taylor’s daughter Jo Green who caught a glimpse of the crash wreckage on the roadside – unaware of the tragedy that had just unfolded.
“I saw a bit of blue bike and thought it might be dad,” said Mrs Green, a 27-year-old mother of two.
“I instantly felt sick. Because of what happened to Kathy I thought I was just being paranoid. I felt sure it was dad but I didn’t want to believe it.”
Mr and Mrs Taylor’s eldest daughter Kathy was killed just days before her 19th birthday in 2001 when she was travelling as a passenger in a car driven by a drink-driver.
Widow Mrs Taylor, 53, said, despite the pain, she was comforted by the thought that her husband and daughter had now been “reunited”.
“They are together again now,” she said.
“For this to happen again to our family after the last 13 years is unbelievable.
“We always said it can’t happen to us again and I just can’t believe that it has.”
The family spoke of Mr Taylor’s love of bikes, starting when he was a young man growing up in Yaxham.
And despite being seriously injured in a bike accident 10 years ago, it did not deter the father-of-five and grandfather of 10 from cruising across the country.
Son Vincent Taylor, 38, described motorbikes as his father’s life-long “passion”. “Someone asked him to explain what biking meant to him and he said it was his freedom,” he said.
“Especially after Kathy died, it became his release.”
Both he and his sister Abi Taylor have planned their weddings in August and September and said without their dad there it would leave a “huge void”.
But Miss Taylor, 25 and from Dereham added: “We can take comfort knowing that the way he died is how he would have wanted to go.”
The family recalled being at the beach with Mr Taylor during their time in Scotland – memories they would always treasure.
Mr Taylor’s death is being investigated by the Scottish authorities.
The funeral service will be on Thursday May 8 at 10.30am in St Peter’s Church, Yaxham with refreshments in the village hall from noon. The family say everyone is welcome and people can dress how they want.
Flowers may be sent to H.H. Aldiss of Dereham or donations may be given in church for Papworth Hospital or The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes.