The parents of two teenagers who died following a car smash on the A14 have described their grief and the desperate attempt to save their lives.
Anton Clements arrived before the emergency services to find his son Macauley, 16, and friend Adam Weller, 19, trapped inside a crumpled BMW which had smashed into a tree.
The accident happened on the A14 at Bury St Edmunds last Thursday shortly before 9pm.
Mr Clements said: “I got to the scene before the police. I was trying to rip the metal away. I couldn’t get to them.
“I was speaking to them. Adam, poor lad moved his hand to open the door and Macauley moved his hand a fraction.
“I’m glad I was there for them – no disrespect to the police, fire or ambulance – but so they weren’t surrounded by strangers. They were conscious and they reacted to my voice.”
Adam, who had been driving, died at the scene while Macauley, who was from Ixworth, died the following morning at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Macauley’s mum Maxine told how he was ‘obsessed’ with joining the Army. His granddad Gordon Ryder, from whom he was was ‘inseparable’, had served in the King’s Dragoon Guards, and Macauley was due to join the Coldstream Guards next month.
“He used to jog around the village every night to keep fit, even in the rain or snow. I have got some lovely memories of that boy,” said Gordon, who told how Macauley would regularly pop round to have a cooked breakfast and dinner.
Macauley, the youngest of three brothers, was a former pupil at Ixworth Middle School and Thurston Community College.
His brother Jordan, 19, was in the same year as Adam and, together with Macauley’s eldest brother Aaron, 20, they used to socialise together.
“Adam would be round here five out of seven nights, I told him not to knock on the door, just walk in. They were all brothers together,” said Anton.
Adam’s mother, Carol Weller, said the loss had left a ‘huge hole’ in the family’s lives.
“At just 19 he had so much to look forward to. He was a much-loved grandson, son, brother and friend, who would always go out of his way to help anyone.
“Everyone who knew Adam would always say what a sweet, caring lad he was and what a lovely person he was to be around,” she said.
Ms Weller added that although they had moved to Weeting recently, he always saw himself ‘as an Ixworth lad’.
“Adam spent most of his spare time in Ixworth and Bury with his many friends. Most of his them had been friends since primary school with many of their parents treating Adam as part of their own families,” she said.
Adam had gone to Ixworth Primary, Ixworth Middle and Thurston Upper Schools. He found school hard but enjoyed science and engineering, doing well in both, his mother said.
Outside of school, he enjoyed fishing and playing golf with his dad.
Following school he had found work at Truckeast in Thetford as a HGV trainee mechanic. He made many friends there and ‘never moaned’ about work, according to Ms Weller.
“As a family we could go on forever about what a great person Adam was. But it will never bring him back or take away the paid or sadness that we are all feeling,” she said.
When not out on his motorbike, Macauley, his brothers, Adam and friends shared an interest in cars.
Macauley, who was a Leeds United fan, had also been a keen motocross rider while Anton described him as a ‘very talented’ BMX rider, going round the country to different venues to perform stunts and tricks with friend Leigham Williams.
He also had a girlfriend, Sophie Porter. “He was deeply in love with her. I think one day they would probably have got married,” said Anton.
Maxine said: “He was always smiling, always polite. He would help get his grandmother’s shopping twice a week and do her gardening.”
His family wish to thank both schools for their support, the emergency services who attended the scene and the hospital which tried to save her son.
Friends organised a gathering to remember Macauley and Adam on Cornhill, in Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday.
More than 300 people attended, including Macauley’s parents.
“We wanted to go to show our respect to Macauley and to try to get the message to his friends that it is hard but they are helping us through it and we are trying to help them through it,” said Anton.
“A complete stranger came up to me and said ‘I didn’t know your boy but I wanted to give you these flowers as a mark of respect’,” said Maxine. “We didn’t expect anything like this.”
His funeral date is yet to be set but his family have said they will be asking for donations in lieu of flowers to split between Help for Heroes and the Bury Skate Park renovation.
Meanwhile, a Facebook tribute page to Macauley has nearly 1,300 likes with friends leaving their own tributes to him and Adam.
Thurston Community College has also paid tribute to the two teenagers. It said they were ‘popular, well-loved students who made a lasting impression’ and will be ‘greatly missed’.
Adam, they described as a ‘wonderful, caring, thoughtful’ young man who showed leadership qualities, and determination to join the Army.
“Adam wore his heart on his sleeve, was an open book and showed fierce loyalty to his friends,” the college tribute said,
Macauley was also remembered for his loyalty. “He was a conscientious young man with integrity beyond his years. He displayed a profound sense of leadership and his peers looked to him for guidance and support,” the college said.
– A 20-year-old man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of dangerous driving.