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Family mourn after road death

07:28 24 January 2008

A HEARTBROKEN family has paid tribute to a “loving and handsome young man” who was killed when the car in which he was travelling hit a tree.

Darren Welton, 20, who grew up in Leiston but was living in Kelsale, died in hospital following the accident, which happened yesterday morning on the A145 near Henham.

A HEARTBROKEN family has paid tribute to a “loving and handsome young man” who was killed when the car in which he was travelling hit a tree.

Darren Welton, 20, who grew up in Leiston but was living in Kelsale, died in hospital following the accident, which happened yesterday morning on the A145 near Henham.

A 28-year-old man from Saxmundham, who police are expected to name today, died at the scene of the crash.

The 24-year-old driver of the car was taken to Ipswich Hospital where his condition was last night described as “stable”.

Last night Mr Welton's aunt, Annette Stalley, said the whole family had been “devastated” by his death.

“Like the rest of our family I feel that Darren's loss is something that we will probably never truly be able to come to terms with,” she said.

“Darren belonged to a large close family who are all absolutely devastated by his death. He was a loving and handsome young man who lived life to the full.

“As a growing teenager he had faced some difficult times but had in the last few years grown into a lovely young man. He worked as a plasterer and loved his job.

“My happiest memory of him was at my wedding in 2003. I can still picture him sat surrounded by all the lovely bridesmaids and loving every minute of it.

“He was a wonderful big brother to his two younger brothers Thomas, 15, and William Stobbart, five.”

Mr Welton grew up with his mother Sally Stobbart and stepfather John Stobbart in Leiston and attended the town's high school.

More recently he had been living with his father, Kevin Welton, in Kelsale, near Saxmundham.

Mrs Stalley said her family would also like to pass their condolences to the relatives of the other men involved in the crash.

“The family would like it to be publicly known that despite their own grief they would like to pass on their heartfelt sorrow for the families of the other two men involved in the crash, one of whom died at the scene,” she said.

Police officers received a call just after 7.10am yesterday saying that a car had come off the road and collided with a tree on the A145 near Henham.

The road was closed for several hours with traffic being diverted via Halesworth on the B1123 and B1124. Police reopened the road just after 12pm.

Emergency services found a blue Nissan Almera in a field with three men inside the vehicle.

The 28-year-old, who was also a passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene while Mr Welton died at the James Paget Hospital, in Gorleston, just after 1pm.

The 24-year-old driver of the car was taken to Ipswich Hospital with serious injuries but his condition is believed to be stable.

Community leaders in Saxmundham have reacted with shock to the tragedy.

Rev Richard Webb, Rector of Saxmundham, said: “My thoughts are with all those involved in such a tragic accident. One's heart goes out to all of the relatives of those who have died or been injured and also to the emergency services who have to deal with such a sad situation.”

Speaking on behalf of Saxmundham Town Council, clerk Maddie Gallop, said: “Our thoughts, and I am sure those of the community, go out to the families of those who have died or been injured in this tragic accident.”

Police need to speak to anyone who was driving in the area at the time, regardless of whether they saw the collision or not.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “If you were driving along the A145 or near the Sotherton crossroads at about 7am this morning please can you call Pc John Duran or Sgt Steve Knight at the Halesworth roads policing unit on 01986 835300.”

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