Video and photo gallery: Gorleston schoolgirl and Knodishall man die in Frostenden A12 crash

Flowers have been laid at the scene of a fatal crash on the A12 at Frostenden near Wrentham.

Flowers have been laid at the scene of a fatal crash on the A12 at Frostenden near Wrentham. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Police have named a man who died following a crash on the A12 at Frostenden on Tuesday night.

Ronald Gates, 55, from Knodishall, near Saxmundham, died when the Peugeot he was driving north collided with a Citroen travelling in the opposite direction.

A teenage schoolgirl, named locally as Shannley Leaver, also died following the collision.

Miss Leaver, who was a pupil at Lynn Grove High School in Gorleston, was a rear seat passenger in the Citroen.

Emergency services, including volunteers from Suffolk Accident Rescue Service and Norfolk Accident Rescue Service, were called to the collision just after 8.15pm.


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An 18-year-old man driving the Citroen sustained serious injuries and was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge by air ambulance where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

Two further passengers in the Citroen and a passenger in the Peugeot were taken to the James Paget University Hospital.

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One passenger in the Citroen sustained a broken leg while the other two were taken for treatment for minor injuries.

Mr Gates and Miss Leaver were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have yet to officially name the other casualties.

More than 2,000 people have joined two Facebook pages paying their respects to 15-year-old Miss Leaver, who was a student at Lynn Grove High School in Gorleston.

The school sent letters home with every pupil yesterday, offering support should they need it.

One friend wrote on the page 'R.I.P Shannley Leaver, you will be missed by loads': 'R.I.P gorgeous girl, it was only yesterday we were talking about how pink your prom dress will be. Sending my love.'

Another wrote: 'Rest in peace! Shannley Leaver, known you since reception, and you've always been a happy person, and you didn't deserve for your life to be taken you'll be forever in our thoughts.'

Her circle of friends is looking to arrange a lantern release on Saturday, with a Facebook event called 'Meet up for Shannley's send off to heaven'.

The first floral tribute addressed 'in loving memory of a dear niece' was left at the scene beside the busy trunk road yesterday.

It read: 'Suddenly taken away too soon and too young. Thoughts are with the family.'

Waveney district councillor Martin Parsons said it was a dangerous stretch of road and called for the A12 to be dualled.

He said: 'It is a tragedy and my sympathies are with the relatives of the people that have died. The only long-term solution is to dual the road and that is some way off.'

Suffolk county councillor Tony Goldson said he was contacted on Tuesday night following the collision and had visited the crash site, near to the border with Wangford, yesterday.

He said: 'Police will submit a report to our engineers and say if anything needs to be done to the road for safety purposes.

'It is a terrible thing to have happened and absolutely devastating for the people involved.

'It is devastating, no matter how old you are, and terrible that lives have been snatched away like that.'

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: 'I was sorry to hear of the terrible accident on the A12 and my sympathies go to the families who have lost loved ones in such tragic circumstances. The speed limit is 40mph in recognition of the sharp bend but it is important the police now establish how the accident happened.'

Philip Hayes, chairman of Wangford with Henham Parish Council, added: 'My sympathies are with the family. It is very sad.'

Following the accident, the A12 at Frostenden was closed in both directions at the Gipsy Lane junction and reopened at 4.30am yesterday.

Fire crews attended from Lowestoft South and Wrentham, and emergency services were on scene late into the night.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: 'The fire service was able to free one person who was trapped in one of the vehicles, with this casualty and a further three casualties taken to hospital, one by air ambulance.'

Police are renewing appeals for information and would like to hear from anyone who was travelling along the A12 who may have seen the two vehicles travelling along the road prior to the collision or the crash itself.

Calls should be made to PC Danny Ormes at the Serious Collision Investigation Team at Suffolk Police on 101.

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