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Tributes paid as Suffolk's roads claim two young lives

Ryan Wilson, who died following a road crash two days before Christmas
Ryan Wilson, who died following a road crash two days before Christmas

Family and friends have paid tribute to a young man from Newmarket who died in a road crash two days before Christmas.

Thirty-one-year-old roofer Ryan Wilson died in the early hours of Sunday, December 23, when his Peugeot Bipper van hit a tree on the B1112 in Eriswell.

His mother, Sophia Bettoney, said his family were heartbroken.

“It hurts to think of a future without Ryan,” she said.

“He was my boy and he had come so far in recent years. I am so proud of him.

I hope he knows just how loved he was by me, his sister, his stepdad and all of his family and friends.

“His death has left a huge hole in many lives and words can’t describe how heartbroken we are. We love you Ryan, we miss you. Rest in peace darling.”

Ryan, who is survived by his mother, his stepfather Eddie and sister Kirsty, had been working as a roofer for Exning-based CJ Roofing Services.

Paying tribute, his boss, Chris Brown, said: “The world has lost a great man . Watching Ryan working alongside us all from a boy in to a very caring, thoughtful, great, young man and friend, he will be sadly missed by many and my thoughts go out to all his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Roofing contractor and charity fund-raiser Ben Blowes, with whom Ryan had started working when he was just 16, called him ‘a gentle giant’ and said he had been devastated by the news of his death.

He said he had only seen him about a week before he died when he had talked about how well he was doing at workand how much he was enjoying it.

“He seemed genuinely happy,” said Ben. “My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

The Suffolk coronerhas been informed of the accident and an inquest into Ryan’s death is likely to be opened in due course.

Suffolk’s roads claimed another victim three days later when American airman Michael Mahony died when his Kawasaki motorbike hit the central reservation on the A11 close to the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills.

The accident happened at around 5.30pm on Christmas Day and the 22-year-oldwas taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in a critical condition. He died on Boxing Day.

He wasbased at RAF Lakenheath where he was assigned to the 48th Maintenance Group, 48th Component Maintenance Squadron, known as the Green Dragons.

His commander, Lt Col Darrell Chase, said: “The Green Dragons are heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of Airman Michael Mahony.

“Michael made an immediate impact on all those he worked with.

“His greatest impact was the love, care, and friendship he offered to all those he came into contact with. He will be missed.”

A memorial service was held at the base chapel at RAF Lakenheath on Friday.

Details of the accident have been passed to the Cambridgeshire coroner and an inquest will be held at a later date.