Norwich science centre staff rooting for ‘fighter’ James after crash

The former director of a Norwich science centre has been described as a 'fighter' who is 'showing positive signs' in hospital following a car crash which killed his wife and injured his three children.

Catherine Piercy – known to her friends as Kate – was driving a red Citroen Berlingo which hit a tree after going off the dual carriageway at Dereham at about midday on Sunday, January 30.

The 36-year-old died as a result of her injuries following the crash while her husband James Piercy, a front-seat passenger, suffered serious head injuries and multiple fractures.

He was in a critical condition in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge although is now said to be comfortable.

Their 10-year-old son – who was a back-seat passenger – suffered serious head injuries but is due to be released from Addenbrooke's this week.

Their two other children – a 12-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy – were also rear-seat passengers and received slight injuries and were treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being released.

Today staff at the Inspire Discovery Centre on Oak Street, where Mr Piercy worked for more than 10 years until 2008, have told of their heartache at the tragedy.

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Shell Fearn, manager of the centre, said: 'Everyone here is absolutely devastated. We all knew James really well.

'He's a lovely guy – someone who would always put himself out for other people.

'We're devastated on a personal level for James and its devastating that something like this has happened to such lovely people.

'We're just frustrated at the moment that we can't do anything to help someone who has helped us so much in his life.

'We're all rooting for James and are getting regular updates. He's making very positive signs apparently. He's a fighter.

'He will be fighting and we've made it clear to the family that we're all here to support him in whatever way we can.'

Miss Fearn said Mr Piercy, who lived at Dereham Road, Norwich now worked as the East Anglian contact for Science Made Simple and was a popular figure in the science community – both in this country and overseas.

As previously reported friends of Mrs Piercy, who lived at Dereham Road, Norwich expressed their sadness at her death and paid an emotional tribute to her.

Brigid Hayward, 48, a mother-of-one from Bintree, near Reepham, set up the Norwich Nappucino group which promoted the use of cloth nappies and which was later taken over by Mrs Piercy.

She said: 'She really was a lovely, lovely mother. She was wonderful and set such a good example and her children are just lovely – it's just tragic. She also ran a play group. She did so much to help people and was so obliging and kind and such a lovely, lovely girl.'

Anyone with information about the crash should contact PC Ian Thexton on 0845 456 4567.