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Tributes to serviceman from Dereham killed in motorcycle crash

PUBLISHED: 08:37 29 May 2012 | UPDATED: 12:11 29 May 2012

Warren Owen

Warren Owen

Archant

The family of a popular serviceman from Dereham, who died in a motorbike crash, has led a flood of emotional tributes to his memory.

Leading Aircraftman Warren Owen, 18, died at the scene of the accident, which happened 400m from the junction with Thompson Road, Griston, near Watton, at about 10.25am on Saturday.

In a statement, his family said: “Warren was an amazing and gifted young man; anyone that knew him or had ever met him will tell you this. He loved his life, his family, his friends, his job and this shone through in everything he did.

“Warren was very ambitious and achieved everything that he set out to do, most importantly to join the Royal Air Force, which had been his dream from the age of four. He was also a doting big brother who was determined to get his baby brother or sister in the RAF or on a motorbike.

“He has left a huge void in the hearts of so many people and will be missed every day but loved and remembered always.”

Squadron Leader Tony Nelson, the officer commanding his unit, 27 Squadron RAF Regiment, based at RAF Honington, said: “Leading Aircraftman Warren Owen was a bright, popular and professional individual whose loyalty and determination earned him many friends and plaudits.

“Although only a member of the RAF regiment for a short period of time, he showed considerable potential. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues on 27 Squadron, RAF Honington and in the RAF regiment.”

Before joining the RAF, Mr Owen had been a member of the 1249 (Dereham) Squadron of the Air Training Corps, whose commanding officer Flt Lt Tracey Burlingham, said: “The squadron has lost one of its most loved ex-cadets. He was a well-respected, enthusiastic and impeccably turned-out member of 1249, whose drive and determination led to him doing a job he loved in the RAF Regiment. Warren will be truly missed and we are all honoured to have known him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

The squadron padre was due to say a few words and light a candle in his memory last night.

Family members and friends flooded a tribute page on Facebook with fond memories of the former Dereham Neatherd High School and Dereham Sixth Form student, who some friends knew as Warren Woodward, and who was also known by the nicknames Worm and Sid.

Sarah Riches wrote: “This world is so unfair. To have lost such a wonderful, kind, funny and talented young man is hard to believe. My thoughts are with Worm’s family and friends. My deepest sympathy goes to my dear and bestest friend. I will always remember Warren for being such a devoted son and member of such a wonderful family.”

Friends from Dereham Motorcycle Club paid tribute the day after Mr Owen’s death, gathering at the Railway Tavern in Dereham at noon on Sunday before riding to the crash site to lay flowers.

Staff at Dereham Sixth Form, where he studied biology sent a card expressing their condolences to his family. Director Phyllis O’Grady said: “Warren was just a year with us but staff are obviously very upset about it. ”

Police said he had been riding a blue Yamaha motorcycle in the Thetford direction. No other vehicles were involved. They appealed for witnesses.

Contact Sgt Dave Cartwright at Wymondham Roads Policing or the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

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