Tributes to young crash victim

GRIEVING friends have paid moving tributes to a popular young bar manager killed in a car crash just days before his 21st birthday.And as friends and colleagues came to terms with the tragic death of Darren Puljic, prayers were being said for an elderly couple seriously injured in the accident.

GRIEVING friends have paid moving tributes to a popular young bar manager killed in a car crash just days before his 21st birthday.

And as friends and colleagues came to terms with the tragic death of Darren Puljic, prayers were being said for an elderly couple seriously injured in the accident.

Mr Puljic started a new life in East Anglia two years ago after moving from his Leicestershire home to work as the bar manager at the Anchor Inn at Nayland, near Sudbury.

Friends said he was the "life and soul of any party" and looked set to have a glittering future in the pub industry ahead of him.

Mr Puljic died when the black Mini Cooper he was driving collided with a Honda Accord on the A134 at Horkesley Hill, Nayland, on Saturday morning.

The young bar manager, who was a joint-licensee at the pub, was due to celebrate his 21st birthday on Friday.

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The pub closed its doors on Sunday in tribute to Mr Puljic, who was said to be popular and "extremely good" at his job.

Duncan Parry, general manager at the Anchor, said: "Darren enjoyed his job and he was exceptionally good at it.

"He was more than just a work mate, he was a great friend to everybody here. You couldn't have met a nicer chap. He had a bright future ahead of him and we will all miss him very much."

Before moving to Suffolk, Mr Puljic had worked in his Croatian father's pub in Leicester. His mother lives in Wales and he also had a younger brother and sister.

Meanwhile, the married couple, both aged 67, who were in the Honda car involved in the accident are now in Colchester General Hospital.

The woman driver suffered injuries and her condition is described as "critical".

Her husband is in intensive care being with spine and leg injuries and doctors have described his condition as "serious." They believed to come from the Colchester area.

Mr Puljic was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone who witnessed the crash should call Essex police on 01206 762512.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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