Grieving family in witness plea

A HEARTFELT plea for witnesses has today been made by the family of a great grandfather who was killed in a crash in Ipswich.Bernard Packard, 81, of Spring Road, Ipswich, was walking across Heath Road three weeks ago when he was involved in a collision with a Honda Fireblade 1000cc motorcycle.

A HEARTFELT plea for witnesses has today been made by the family of a great grandfather who was killed in a crash in Ipswich.

Bernard Packard, 81, of Spring Road, Ipswich, was walking across Heath Road three weeks ago when he was involved in a collision with a Honda Fireblade 1000cc motorcycle.

Today, with the funeral behind them, his family want to get to the bottom of what happened and are urging anyone who saw the accident to get in touch with police.

Mr Packard's daughters, Sandra Gosney and Linda Peto, today spoke about their pain of coping without their beloved father.

Mrs Peto, 56, of Kemball Street, said: “He was a brilliant dad and such a lovely, smiling man. He was a very young 81-very sprightly. We are trying to cope without him. Now the funeral is over, we are trying to get back to normal but it is so hard. He was taken away very untimely.

“We want to know what happened because it will help us keep it together.

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“We would like to thank everyone for their help and support and messages of sympathy. It gives you some kind of comfort.”

Mrs Gosney, 45, of Melbourne Road, added: “If there is anyone who saw what happened, please help police with their enquiries.

“We have finally put him to rest but now we want to know what happened. If people saw something, we want them to know it is not too late to come forward.

“We never expected to lose him so suddenly. Reality is beginning to kick in now.”

Around 150 people attended his funeral at the Ipswich Crematorium on Wednesday. He was well known around the town, having worked as a porter at Ipswich Hospital throughout his life and playing darts in pubs.

After Mr Packard's wife, Mabel, died 11 years ago, he lived an independent life, but remained incredibly close to all his family.

A post mortem concluded that he died from multiple injuries following the collision in Heath Road, which happened at about 6.20pm on March 20. He had just had dinner at Mrs Gosney's house and was walking his usual route home when the accident happened.

An off-duty nurse and a Heath Road resident battled desperately to save Mr Packard but he died from his injuries.

He also leaves behind four grandchildren, Sharon, Chris, his wife Lisa, Olivia, Tom, and two great-grandchildren Joseph and Isabella.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Pc Beth Harper at Suffolk police's roads policing unit on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Do you agree the speed limit of Heath Road should be reduced? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Although it is not yet clear how the collision happened and speed may not have been a factor, Mrs Gosney said vehicles need to slow down in Heath Road.

She said there have been fatalities on the road before and something needs to be done.

She added: “They could put up those Twenty's Plenty signs or those signs which flash up to slow people down. Even if a vehicle is doing 40mph, it could still kill someone.

“This is all so senseless so we want to make something positive out of it. We don't want other families to go through what we are going through.”

Suffolk police said there had now been 11 deaths on the county's roads this year - involving five drivers or passengers in cars, three pedestrians and three cyclists or motorbike riders.

Earlier this week road safety campaigners, Brake, said the number of fatalities on Suffolk's road was “unacceptable”.