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Remove tree plea after another death

PUBLISHED: 11:11 24 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

A PLEA was has been made to remove a tree from a roadside verge after a second fatal accident in less than two years.

On Good Friday James Barnes, 20, of Church Close, Kelsale, died when his blue Citroen Saxo car left the B1119 road between Leiston and Saxmundham and collided with a tree.

A PLEA was has been made to remove a tree from a roadside verge after a second fatal accident in less than two years.

On Good Friday James Barnes, 20, of Church Close, Kelsale, died when his blue Citroen Saxo car left the B1119 road between Leiston and Saxmundham and collided with a tree.

The accident left his family and friends devastated, and also brought back terrible memories for another Suffolk family.

In November 2001 grandmother Marcia Whenman, 54, of Leiston, died when the car she was travelling in left the road and hit the same tree.

Family member Stephen Eves said the tree was on a bend and too close to the road and should be removed.

"This is a very touching subject with me and my family, as we too suffered the death of a very dear loved one when the car she was travelling in collided with this tree.

"At the time we requested that the tree be removed to prevent any further deaths and I personally threatened to remove it myself," said Mr Eves.

However, Mr Eves was advised by Suffolk police against taking action himself to remove the tree as it would be considered criminal damage.

"I now feel very guilty about not removing the tree," said Mr Eves.

"The fact is that the tree is too close to the road and if it were not there, then if a motorist for any reason was travelling at high speed or had to swerve around the corner, they would at least have some chance of life.

"If the tree was not there they would not have such a short and harsh halt by colliding with it," said Mr Eves.

Mrs Whenman and her husband Terrence had moved to Suffolk after previously living in Hampshire.

They were travelling along the B1119 road from Saxmundham to Leiston at about 9.30pm on November 13, 2001, when the accident happened.

Mrs Whenman's family and friends sympathised with the pain and sorrow currently being felt by those who knew and loved James Barnes.

Officials from Suffolk County Council's highways department are waiting for more information about the latest fatal accident before deciding if the tree will be removed.

Traffic safety engineer Rod Sore said: "We do not yet have the full facts of this latest accident.

"When we do we will look at the situation and decide what is the appropriate action to take."

Moving messages and floral tributes have been left in James' memory at the crash site.

Meanwhile Suffolk police are renewing their appeal for any witnesses to the single vehicle accident to come forward.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 01473 613500.


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