Family torn apart by crash

IT WAS a tragedy that rocked the county but today an Ipswich mum has told how the deaths of five people on the A12 has torn her family apart.Lesley Pye's son Jonathan Kuttsthreuter now 18 was devastated when his former girlfriend of three years, 18-year-old Carla Took, was killed on the way back from Ipswich to Lowestoft following a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert last July.

IT WAS a tragedy that rocked the county but today an Ipswich mum has told how the deaths of five people on the A12 has torn her family apart.

Lesley Pye's son Jonathan Kuttsthreuter now 18 was devastated when his former girlfriend of three years, 18-year-old Carla Took, was killed on the way back from Ipswich to Lowestoft following a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert last July.

Ms Pye, of Cromer Road, Ipswich, said her son, known as Jonny, has now become withdrawn, unable to talk about the crash and added that the tragedy played a part in her divorce from her husband.

Army coporal Ben Morphey, 22 from Yoxford pleaded guilty last week to causing death by careless driving while unfit through drink. He changed his plea from not guilty just days before he was due to stand trial putting four families and the many friends of the victims through a yearlong nightmare. He is due to be sentenced next month.

Ms Pye, 54, said: “We have been saying for the past year, 'why can't he just admit it'. He could have put his hands up to it and got on with his sentence.

“Carla and her friends were catapulted from this world and the rest of us are left with a sentence forever and believe me, there are thousands of us.”

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Jonny, who lives in Lowestoft was no longer in a relationship with Carla at the time of the accident - but they remained good friends and he also read a eulogy at her funeral.

He said: “We had been close ever since we met at school. We just clicked and got on very well. It was the first relationship for both of us.

“Reading the eulogy at her funeral was the most difficult thing I have ever done. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about her.

“But it has brought me closer to her family, we are like one big family now.”

During her son's relationship with Carla, Ms Pye became close to her and remembers her as being “so kind and clever.”

She said: “Carla loved life. She used to bounce into my house always laughing - it was an infectious laugh. Even though I think my cooking is awful, she used to eat every scrap and ask for the recipe.

“Since it happened, every family involved has been in a terrible state. I have since got divorced because of it. It has a rippled effect. I don't think any of us will get over it.”

Ms Pye added that she did not know how her son read the eulogy at the funeral. She said: “As he stood there doing his speech, he was looking at her coffin desperately trying not to break down.

“For a 17-year-old this must have been the hardest thing he will ever have to do. He has become so withdrawn since then. He is getting on with his life going to work and never wants to talk about it.”

Carla's mother Angela Took said: “They had a wonderful relationship. They actually split up in September and in the May before she died, she got a new boyfriend. I have been so close to both of them since she died. They are such nice young men.

“I see Jonny like a son now. He has been absolutely fantastic support to the whole family and is like a big brother to our daughter Kerry. He has shown maturity beyond his years.”

n. Do you have a story to tell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

JONNY wrote this special tribute to the friend whose death has left such a huge hole in his life:

"Carla was so special to everyone in her life, she had many friends and commitments yet she always made time for everyone.

“Carla would never let anyone down and the dedication she had shown in the beginning years of her life towards all activities she was involved in was second to none.

“I count myself very fortunate to have spent as much time as I did with her, although it also brings pain to me to think after this tragedy she will never get the chance to fulfil her dreams in life that she would definitely have achieved.

“I would have loved to see how Carla grew up and how through each stage of her life she succeeded in all her tasks that she was given.

“Just to see that happen would have forever made me happy because she deserved every bit of it. I think it's also good to see that hard work and being such a great person can get you so far in life.

“She was only 18 and yet she had so many loved ones and people that think of her and wish they could be with her everyday.

“It's amazing. I will forever be touched by Carla as her beauty and personality will never be matched. Simply no one could ever compare to her."

Jonny Kutts

Do you want to pay tribute to any of the crash victims? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Carla Took was travelling along with sisters Claire Stoddart,18, and Claire's 15-year-old sister Jenny when their car collided with one driven by army corporal Ben Morphey in the early hours of July 1 last year.

The teenagers had been returning home from a Red Hot Chili Peppers' concert at Portman Road, Ipswich when Morphey's car veered across the A12 at Blythburgh and ploughed into them.

Claire Stoddart, her sister Jenny and their friend Carla Took, 18, died after the two-car crash.

The promising students were celebrating the end of term at Benjamin Britten High School, in Lowestoft, with the two 18-year-olds also marking the end of their A-level exams.

Their results were released posthumously in August, showing they were the two highest-achieving girls in their sixth form.

Two of their school friends survived the crash.

Sarah Mitchell suffered serious injuries while Adam Cox escaped with a broken thumb and seatbelt injuries.

The tragedy inspired the Red Hot Chili Peppers' support act, Dirty Pretty Things, to play a special concert last September to pay tribute to the girls.

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