Enduring legacy a year on from motorbike tragedy

IPSWICH: It is nearly a year since Chris Hutchison was killed in a motorbike accident.

But today, the 21-year-old’s grieving mother Amanda told of how she had turned the heartbreak of his death into an “amazing pride” at her son’s achievements in his short life.

Pride for a son who was liked by everyone he met. Pride for a young man who had shown so much promise and enthusiasm in the pursuit of his dreams. And pride for someone who left a lasting legacy from which scores of people have since been blessed.

The identical twin had just embarked on a career in mechanics when his life was cut cruelly short.

A former Stoke High School pupil, Chris had graduated from a course in motor mechanics at the top of his class before finding work in the engineering department of First Buses.

He secured the position under the proviso he could drive and, like most of the challenges he took on, passed at the first attempt.

A keen and experienced biker since the age of 16, Chris also bought himself a car, which he had been driving for only a week before he was involved in the fatal crash.

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Without enough money to fill the petrol tank, he chose instead to take his motorbike out and meet up with friend and colleague John Hitsom before work later that afternoon.

Chris was riding his Yamaha Thundercat in Hasketon when it collided with a telegraph pole on July 6, 2009.

Mrs Hutchison of Oak Hill Lane said: “I knew the risk he took when riding a bike and I told him to be careful.”

His mother sensed something had gone tragically wrong when twin brother Aaron phoned with agonising news.

“My heart just stopped,” she recalled. “I knew something terrible had happened but I hoped and hoped it was nothing too serious.

“I knew there was trouble when I got to the hospital and they put me in the family room. He had gone by then, but I spent time with him. I just never had the chance to see him awake again.”

Following his death, a service was held for Chris at the Ipswich Crematorium and was attended by crowds of friends and family.

Mrs Hutchison said: “I just couldn’t fathom what so many people were doing there. I never knew so many people were friends with him.”

A collection at the service raised �920 for brain injury charity Headway – a donation that would prove one of many gifts granted in the wake of Chris’ death.

The youngster had taken the responsible decision to be an organ donor in his teens and has since made an abiding impact on people’s lives.

His mother said: “I’m so proud and pleased he was carrying a donor card.

“I received a letter shortly afterwards saying his eyes had helped four people see in just one month.

“As much as his death broke my heart, it gives me an amazing feeling of pride.”

At Christmas the Hutchison’s adopted a Jack Russell, Cracker, and the seven-month-old pup has become part of the family and a companion for Mrs Hutchison, 22-year-old Aaron and youngest son Ashley, 18.

Mrs Hutchison said: “We were struggling so much we decided to get a dog to bring some life back into the house. I didn’t know how to cope but everyone has been amazing.”

One person who Mrs Hutchison wishes she could thank in person is Andrew Draper, who along with Chris’ friend John, was first on the scene following the crash. Mr Draper has yet to be traced by the family who are desperate to show their gratitude.

n Did you know Chris? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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