Tributes paid to former Gorleston student Krišs Dreimanis after crash

Scene of a car crash in which a man in his 20s was killed on Mattishall Road, outside Dereham, in th

Scene of a car crash in which a man in his 20s was killed on Mattishall Road, outside Dereham, in the early hours of Sunday morning, July 27. Pic by Ian Burt. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a talented young athlete who was killed when his car crashed into a tree.

The 20-year-old, who died after the accident on Mattishall Lane, near Dereham, in the early hours of Sunday morning, has been named locally as Krišs Dreimanis.

Mr Dreimanis, a former student at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, had lived in Gorleston for a number of years before attending the University of Lincoln.

He is said to have moved from Latvia to Gorleston with his mum and as a teenager became involved with local volleyball teams, and was regarded as one of the area's top players.

John Ashmore, who coaches volleyball at the college and with the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston squad within the Norfolk league, said Mr Dreimanis was the college's 'top player' in the two years he was there.

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'He was a mainstay of the team,' Mr Ashmore added. 'He was about six foot so wasn't the tallest but he had a great jump on him. He was one of the best players in the squad and without doubt the best I ever coached at the college.'

Mr Ashmore last saw the promising sportsman in June when they played together in a tournament in Stowmarket, and said he would often play with his former teammates when visiting from university in Lincolnshire.

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He added: 'He was a good lad and his heart was in the right place. He was a loyal member of the squad and will be greatly missed.'

Fellow team members, who have been left shocked and saddened by his death, described him as a 'lovely young man' who was 'always friendly'.

Mr Ashmore said the 20-year-old was in his second year at the University of Lincoln, where he also played for the university's volleyball squad and American football team.

Daphne King, principal of East Norfolk Sixth Form College, confirmed Mr Dreimanis attended the college, where he studied maths, chemistry and music technology A-Levels, before going onto university in 2012, where he was studying audio production.

She described his death as 'absolutely tragic'.

Bryan Rudd, programme leader for Audio Production at the University of Lincoln, said: 'Kriss was a thoroughly likeable, engaging and talented young man, who was dedicated to both his studies and his various commitments based around his student life, including music and sport. He was a highly regarded member of our music production team and as a talented pianist, was very serious about his music and contributed hugely to our sessions. We are deeply saddened by his passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.'

Tributes to Mr Dreimanis have flooded in on social media as well as on his university American Football team's website.

The Lincoln Colonials have announced that they will be retiring Mr Dreimanis's number 88 shirt in his memory.

A statement on their website read: 'Today the University of Lincoln Colonials American Football lost a great friend and team-mate.

'All our thoughts are with Krišs Dreimanis and his family. In honour of his memory we will be retiring his jersey number #88.

'Krišs, not just being an amazing friend and team-mate, always gave 100pc during games and at training even after coming after a 2 hour intense volleyball training. The colonials will never be the same again without him.'

Coach Edd McGreal also paid tribute on the website. He said: 'After spending much of afternoon in a state of limbo the news has broken that unfortunately the Lincoln Colonials have lost a player, soldier and more importantly a brother.

'The only guy that managed to give 120pc, 150pc of the time. You will be missed, but your memory will live on for many, many seasons to come.

'All of our thoughts and prayers go to the family. Krišs Dreimanis, it was an absolute pleasure. RIP #88.'

Did you know Mr Dreimanis? If you would like to pay tribute to him write to

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