Two people dead as south Norfolk area hit by third tragedy

The East Anglian Air Ambulance and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance at the scene of the crash in Ellingham. The East Anglian Air Ambulance and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance at the scene of the crash in Ellingham.

Monday, May 12, 2014
2:06 PM

Close-knit communities in south Norfolk expressed shock at the latest tragedy to have hit the area – the third in less than three months.

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Prayers were being said yesterday (Sunday) after two elderly people died following a crash on the Norfolk and Suffolk border, with two other people needing hospital treatment.

Investigations are continuing into the three-car collision on the A143 at Ellingham, near Bungay, which happened at about 1.45pm on Friday.

Emergency services were called to the crash, involving a Vauxhall Meriva, a Renault Scenic and a Ford Focus, but a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s later died of their injuries. The man was driving the Vauxhall Meriva and the woman was a passenger. Neither has been named by police.

The woman was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge by air ambulance, but she died on Friday of her injuries. The man was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where he died on Saturday.

A second man, who had driven the Renault Scenic, was taken to the N&N with minor injuries, while a woman passenger was uninjured.

The woman driver of the Focus suffered a suspected broken arm and was taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston for treatment. She was alone in the vehicle.

This latest tragedy to have affected the villages around south Norfolk comes after teenager Allister Maguire Buck was killed after a collision with a car on the A146 at Stockton on February 22. Less than a month later four men died as an Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter crashed in a field off the A143 at Gillingham, near Beccles, in heavy fog.

With prayers said yesterday for the elderly man and woman, and those injured in the collision, the Rev Julie Oddy-Bates, priest in charge of the Waveney benefice – which includes Gillingham, Stockton, Kirby Cane, Ellingham and Geldeston – said the community was still reeling from the events of the past three months.

With the small rural communities of Stockton, Gillingham and Ellingham all within a few miles of each other, Mrs Oddy-Bates said: “This is third tragic event to have happened within my parishes within the past three months. People are very much shaken up.

“It is very tragic for all the communities and there is a general feeling of shock and sadness. To have three major incidents in such a short space of time in these very close-knit communities is a huge shock.”

Police inquiries are ongoing, and officers would like to hear from anyone who believes they may have seen any of the vehicles before the collision or witnessed the incident itself.

Information should be directed to the serious collision investigation team on 101.

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