Tributes to Lowestoft soldier killed on motorbike

Tributes have been paid to 'personable, professional and inspirational' soldier who died in a motorcycle crash on a busy Suffolk road.

Sgt Jason Callistan, of Yarrow Drive in Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, was returning home on his Yamaha motorbike from duties with 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) of the Royal Engineers when he was involved in a collision on the A143 at Hepworth, near Diss, last Wednesday.

A tribute from his family said: 'J Callistan, tragically taken on Wednesday October 6. Devoted to his country, family and friends, serving in the Royal Engineers for 12 years. A true character who will shine in our hearts forever.'

Sgt Callistan, 30, joined 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) in January 2009 as a corporal and qualified as Royal Engineer Seach Team Commander before serving a six month tour in Afghanistan.

On his return to the UK, he was promoted and qualified as a bomb disposal officer and it was in that role that he was about to start preparations for another tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Last night, commanding officer Lt Col Simon Bell paid tribute to Sgt Callistan, who was known to colleagues as 'J', on behalf of the regiment.

He said: 'I first met J during Exercise Pineapple, an explosive ordnance clearance exercise in Kenya, and I was instantly struck by his zest for life and dedication.

Most Read

'He was a personable, professional and inspirational individual, who was mature and hugely respected. A colourful character, he had a spark about him, an appetite for life and thirst for a challenge. An avid mountaineer, he led numerous expeditions and just two weeks ago successfully completed the Three Peaks Challenge in an impressive time despite challenging weather conditions.'

He added: 'An entertaining and immensely popular man across the regiment, he possessed razor sharp wit and always had apt comment to make at the appropriate time. A promising star with a bright future ahead of him, it is a tragedy that his life has been brought to such an abrupt and unexpected end.

'Heroic on operations, but human at home, J has been a colleague to all in the regiment and a steadfast friend to many. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his wife, Emma, and the rest of his family at this most difficult of times.'

An inquest into Sgt Callistan's death was opened at the coroner's office in Bury St Edmund's on Monday and adjourned until further investigations have taken place.