Tribute to another life lost

FOOTBALLERS in Suffolk were today mourning the loss of a young teammate, killed when his car collided with a road maintenance van parked in a lay-by on the A14.

By Lisa Baxter

FOOTBALLERS in Suffolk were today mourning the loss of a young teammate, killed when his car collided with a road maintenance van parked in a lay-by on the A14.

Marc Lucchi was taken to West Suffolk Hospital after being cut free of his wrecked car by firefighters but he later died of his injuries.

The young football star is the seventh person killed in a road accident in Suffolk this year.

Bury Town chairman Russell Ward said Mr Lucchi's death had left everyone at the club "in a state of shock". The 18-year-old was a promising defender who had played for Needham Market and Bury Town, was a member of Bury Football School and represented West Suffolk College and Suffolk Schools Under-19s. He is believed to have been a student at West Suffolk College in Bury where he was on an A' Level course in business studies.

The accident happened at about 11.45am yesterday on the eastbound carriageway of the A14 when a Toyota Corolla, driven by Mr Lucchi, collided with a Ford Transit van in the lay-by between the Bury St Edmunds east and central interchanges. It is exactly the same spot where car passengers Shaun Fuller and Martin Wilson were killed in an accident in October 2000.

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No-one is believed to have been in the maintenance vehicle at the time of yesterday's crash. Road repairs and other works were being carried out near the scene and at the nearby roundabout outside the British Sugar factory.

Acting Sergeant Andy Garden, of Suffolk police, said: "It is understood that the accident happened in the lay-by, but we are still investigating. We set up short-term diversions and closed the road down to one lane for safety reasons."

The crash is the latest in a series of fatal accidents involving maintenance vehicles or workers.

Last July, John Minns, 24, from Bramford, was killed on the A12 between Stratford St Mary and Capel St Mary as he laid out road cones.

Lorry driver Paul Scruttins, 44, from Colchester, was killed on the A14 at Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds, in May 2000. He was thrown from the cab of his vehicle after it was involved in a collision with a maintenance truck.

In another Suffolk road crash yesterday, a woman was trapped in her car for more than 30 minutes after it flipped on to its side following an accident on Melton Hill, Woodbridge. All three emergency services attended to the scene outside the Suffolk Coastal District Council offices at around 12.20pm. The accident involved two cars, a Seat Rosa, driven by a woman and a Ford Sierra believed to be driven by a male.

The woman was taken to Ipswich Hospital with injuries which were not thought to be serious. The driver of the other car was uninjured.

And two days after a horrific smash on Suffolk's notorious A140, two men remained in hospital today where one was fighting for his life.

The head-on crash between a Ford Granada car and a horsebox happened at Stoke Ash shortly before 7.40pm on Wednesday, badly injuring the car's driver and front-seat passenger.

Today, the car's passenger – believed to be from Basildon in Essex and aged in his late teens – "remained critical" in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, after being transferred there yesterday from Ipswich Hospital.

The car's driver – believed to be in his 40s and from Norwich – remained in Ipswich Hospital but a spokeswoman could give "no comment" on his condition.

nSuffolk police appealed for anyone with information on the accident in which Marc Lucchi was killed to contact 01284 774100.

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