Tributes paid to Downham Market teenager killed in road accident

Tributes have been paid to a 'kind and caring' teenager who was killed in a road accident earlier this week.

Sam Cotterell, 18, died after his Renault Megane people carrier collided with a red Renault Trafic van at around 7.35am on Monday morning.

The 18-year-old was heading towards from King's Lynn on the A10 close to the junction with the B1507 in Wimbotsham, near Downham Market, when the fatal crash happened.

He lived in the Downham Market area but worked as an apprentice at King's Lynn-based firm Cooper Roller Bearings.

Sam Coote, who worked with Mr Cotterell, said: 'I have so many different memories of Sam, all of which will stay with me forever.

'His sad death has had an impact on all of us at Coopers and it's only when someone is taken away from you do you realise just how much of an effect they have on your life.

'Sam was a great character and never stopped making us all laugh, whether it was his Hawaiian shirts he wore over his overalls or the random film quotes he would shout across the workshop.

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'I'm still struggling to get my head around this whole thing. It's never going to be the same again and we're all going miss him.'

Fellow colleague Jimmy Robinson said: 'The last few years spent with him at college and work were literally been the best days of my life.

'He was the funniest, kindest and most caring person I know, who would go out of their way to kindly help anyone.'

Fellow friend Richard Cook added: 'Sam was a very talented individual at everything he put his hand too.

'He had the ability to make everyone laugh and smile and was an amazing friend.

'He is going to be sorely missed by everyone who ever had the pleasure to meet him. The impact he had on all of us was huge and he will never be forgotten.'

Mr Cotterell attended Downham Market High School and the school's headteacher Sarah Quantrill said the news of his death had a big impact on students.

'He was a very popular boy at the school and everyone here is quite shocked,' she said.

'He was very hard working and achieved a lot while at the school and had a large friendship group.

'Everyone at the school has been sad to hear the news and our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time for them.'

Paul Leggett, director at Cooper Roller Bearings, said the Downham Market resident was in his second year of a craft apprenticeship.

He said: 'During Sam's very short period of employment, he showed extreme enthusiasm and passion for his chosen career in engineering.

'Sam was a very confident individual; showing exceptional skills during his first year by produced some very high quality work.

'He had the potential of being an exceptional apprentice acquiring the knowledge and skill that would have given others the inspiration to aspire to.

'Sam had so much to offer and will be a great loss to the company, will be missed by all who got to know him but will be remembered as a fun-loving enthusiastic young man.'

Police officers are still urging people to come forward with information following the fatal accident.

Anyone with information can contact Norfolk Police on 0845 456 4567.