Families hail success of memorial fund to Yarmouth accident victims

The families of four workmates from west Suffolk who died in a tragic accident are 'overwhelmed' that a fund in the men's honour has now hit the �30,000 mark.

The success of the Four Friends Memorial Fund to remember brothers Thomas and Daniel Hazelton and their colleagues Peter Johnson (PJ) and Adam Taylor has raised this remarkable amount thanks to the support of their communities.

Tom, 26, Daniel, 30, PJ, 42, and Adam, 28, died on January 21 after the steel structure they were working on at Claxton Engineering Services in Runham Vauxhall, Great Yarmouth, collapsed on top of them.

Tom, Daniel and PJ were from Stanton and Adam was from Rickinghall. Daniel had also been living in Rickinghall for the past few years.

Marilyn Hazelton, mother to Tom and Daniel, said she was 'astounded' by the response to the Four Friends fund.

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The 58-year-old from Stanton said: 'I really am lost for words for everybody's support and everything. It's touched so many people's lives and their hearts. It is really astonishing, it is just amazing. How everyone thought of those four lovely lads.'

She added: 'It's changed a lot of people's outlook as well. A lot of people are now living more for today.'

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Daniel's partner Sam Ellis, who is mother to their three-year-old Freddie, said the fund achieving �30,000 was 'overwhelming'. The 43-year-old, of Church Meadow, Rickinghall, said: 'It makes you really, really proud.'

PJ's mother, Barbara May, 70, of Fordhams Close, Stanton, said the fund's success was 'wonderful'.

She added that the community support had been 'quite remarkable'.

The deaths of the four popular men hit their tight-knit communities hard. Residents and businesses have rallied round to support the men's families and have got fully behind the Four Friends fund.

Notable fundraisers for the fund include a memorial dinner in Stanton which raised about �13,700 and a bike ride organised by the Cock Inn pub in the village which will contribute about �3,530.

Norfolk Police are continuing to undertake a full investigation with the Health and Safety Executive into the circumstances of the accident. A police spokeswoman said: 'It is likely that this process will take some time.'

A cheque presentation, family fun day and thank you event is taking place next Sunday at Stanton Village Hall from 4pm until 11pm. It will be an opportunity for the four men's families to thank people for their support in an informal setting and a cheque with the amount raised at the memorial dinner in the village will be presented.

There will be music, a children's entertainer, bouncy castles, ice cream, a hog roast and barbecue. Tickets cost �15, �5 for under-16s and the under-fives are free. For tickets contact Martin Scowcroft on 07738 120754.

If you would like to support the Four Friends Memorial Fund please send cheques payable to Archant Regional Ltd (write Four Friends Memorial Fund on reverse of cheque), to Four Friends Memorial Fund, c/o the East Anglian Daily Times editor, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN. The fund will be closing around the beginning of October.

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