Family hit by second death-crash tragedy

A FAMILY has been rocked by another tragedy after their son was killed when his car hit a tree - exactly the same circumstances in which his brother died.

A FAMILY has been rocked by another tragedy after their son was killed when his car hit a tree - exactly the same circumstances in which his brother died.

Last night warm tributes were paid to Thomas Barnes, who lived at Middleton, near Leiston.

The 23-year-old died on Sunday when his blue Peugeot 206 was in collision with a tree on Abbey Road in Leiston.

His brother James was killed in similar circumstances on Good Friday in 2003.

The 20-year-old, of Church Close, Kelsale, near Saxmundham, was driving a blue Citroen Saxo on the B1119 when he left the carriageway near Leiston and hit a tree.

Emergency services - including an ambulance and four fire engines - attended Sunday's accident, which happened around 8.30am, but Mr Barnes was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Last night the close knit community spoke of their shock at learning of his death and his employer paid a warm tribute.

Mr Barnes had worked at Ladybird Nurseries in Gromford Lane, Snape, for two and a half years and was also studying on a course run by the Horticultural Trades Association.

In 2007 he studied for a National Award in Landscape Construction and Garden Design at Otley College and had a particular interest in Venus fly traps.

Last night Bob Booker, who owns the nurseries with his wife Maggie, said Mr Barnes would be sadly missed.

“Tom was a valued member of staff and was extremely serious about his work,” he said. “We felt he had a long term future with us and he was working towards an award in horticulture. He was prepared to take that on and that passion really appealed to us.

“He was a quiet, sensible lad and it took a while to get to know him - but I have fond memories of this time last year when he was the life and soul of our Christmas party.

“We are all extremely shocked and we are thinking very much of his family because it must be extremely difficult for them.”

Barry Slater, Suffolk Coastal district councillor for Middleton, who also lives in the village, said the whole community was in a state of shock.

“It's shaken everybody,” he said. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Speaking on behalf of the whole of Middleton-cum-Fordley Parish Council, chairman Jane Etheridge, said they would like to wish the family their sincere condolences at this very said time.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw the Peugeot prior to the crash or the collision itself to call PC Andy Fossey at the Serious Collision Investigation Team at police headquarters on 01473 613500.