Tributes paid to popular restaurant worker who died in crash on outskirts of Norwich on North Walsham Road at Spixworth

Tributes have been paid to a popular, fun-loving restaurant worker who was killed in a car crash on the outskirts of Norwich.

The 19-year-old man, who has been named locally as Matt Meacham-Roberts, died when the silver Peugeot he was driving was involved in a crash with a blue Citroen car at about 10am on Wednesday on the B1150 North Walsham Road between the junction of Crostwick Lane, Spixworth and the Norwich Rugby Club.

The victim's name has not yet been formally released by police but friends of the teenager, who worked at the McDonald's restaurant at Hoveton, near Wroxham, have been posting tributes on social networking sites, including Twitter.

Mr Meacham-Roberts' Facebook page also reveals he studied for a public services national diploma at City College Norwich and was a Norwich City fan.

Andrew Day, Norwich area manager for McDonald's, who oversees eight outlets in the area, including the Hoveton restaurant where Mr Meacham-Roberts worked, said: 'When you lose anyone it's tragic. Such a young chap, he's worked with us for just over a year and we're still in deep shock about what's happened.


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'My deepest sympathies go out to his parents and friends. What more can you say, it's just tragic, absolutely tragic what's happened.'

Mr Day said Mr Meacham-Roberts, who was a staff member, meaning he was trained to work on the till as well as in the kitchen, proved to be a popular worker.

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He said: 'From talking to his colleagues today he was just a fantastic guy, a fun guy to have around – always cracking jokes. He was a bright influence in the restaurant. He was a popular member of staff and will be much missed.'

Members of staff from other McDonald's restaurants in the area have been drafted into cover shifts for some of Mr Meacham-Roberts' colleagues who were too upset to work since the crash.

Mr Day said: 'Obviously people working in the restaurant have been very sad and anyone that's needed to go home and grieve has been able to. We've been pulling staff in from all the other restaurants just to give people that grieving time.'

Wednesday's crash was the second fatal crash on the same road in just a matter of days. It followed a collision which happened on Tuesday, June 5, on the same road at Beeston St Andrew, close to the Beeston Lane junction, in which a cyclist in his 40s died.

Fears of another death on the road, which has a 60mph limit, has prompted people living in the area to demand urgent action to be taken to make the road safer.

As previously reported, Jo Culling, a sales assistant at the HFG Farm Shop on North Walsham Road, said something needed to be done following the crash, adding: 'I think it should be made 50mph.'

Bryan Edwards, a former Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership manager who lives in Spixworth and who himself survived a fatal head on crash on the North Walsham Road in February 1998, said the bend near to the rugby club and farm shop needed more signage, or flashing slow down signs to warn drivers.

Keith Simpson, MP for Broadland, which covers Spixworth, said that before anything was decided Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council would need to look at both crashes.

He said: 'At this stage I would just, without knowing the exact details, urge both the police and the county council to look into this and perhaps report back to the public, not least Spixworth Parish Council, and either say there isn't a pattern here and it was unfortunate, or yes there is a pattern and we think we should take the following steps to at least slow people down.'

Mr Meacham-Roberts died at the scene of the crash, while the male driver and the female passenger of the other vehicle were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for treatment. Their injuries were not serious.

Police have urged witnesses to the crash or the manner of driving of either vehicle prior to the incident to call the Norfolk Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Meacham-Roberts? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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